Interview with Leo Lillard
QUESTION 12
INTERVIEWER:

UM, CAN YOU CUT FOR, FOR A SECOND? UM, I THINK WHAT I'M TRYING TO GET TO HERE, MAYBE I'M A LITTLE VAGUE, IS I'M THINKING THAT, UM …

Leo Lillard:

0k, the peop—-Diane Nash and John, uh, Jim Bevel and uh, John Lewis, and uh, even Jim Lawson, all the intellectuals or people who put the sit-ins together were from out of town. And, I had, I had, I had felt once we got rolling, once the sit-ins started, and we were, the students were definitely in charge of it, it was sort of my, my chance, it was my chance to get back at Nashville, it was my chance to not have any adult lie to me about what, what the problem was, it was my chance to make the problem different, to correct it. It was clear that being a Nashvillian, or growing up here, born and bred here, I had clear obligations, clear reasons to put my body on the line, continuously put my mind on the line. It appeared to me that if I was going to pursue an engineering career in Nashville, a, to pursue a degree at T.S.U., then it was also equally important to spend as much time as I could involved with the Movement in Nashville, it was, it was basically our Movement, it was a city movement, even though students from out of town started it. And it was clear that, that the people who were, who were, who were g-going to be the leaders of Nashville had to be born and bred here, people who were going to take over the reigns after the students left, and they would surely leave, had to come from Nashville, and I felt that that's, that that's where I belonged.