Interview with John Lewis

John, you were beat over the head I don't know how many times, jailed I don't know how many times, and then you lose out on the chairman of SNCC, this must have come as a kind of personal loss, for you.


Well, it was very disappointing, you know after going to jail, ah, 40 times, being beaten on the Freedom Ride in '61, and almost facing death, during the march--the attempted march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, ah, to be challenged and unseated, to be reelected and de elected the same evening as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was a personal disappointment, it was a personal loss. But at the same time, ah, I said to myself, and to those supporters that supported me, ah, primarily southern students, "A great many of my White colleagues in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee had to struggle with an ongoing struggle. And I was going to continue to advocate the philosophy, the discipline of nonviolence, and the sense of community, that all of us Blacks and Whites were in this boat together."