Interview with Bob Mants
QUESTION 13
CARROLL BLUE:

So an independent Black political party was formed out of the struggle. And I wanted to know why such a party was able to get formed. What was the reasons and rationale behind this forming?

BOB MANTS:

Well I think there are basically two reasons. One is that--

CARROLL BLUE:

Basically two reasons for--?

BOB MANTS:

For the, the establishment of the independent political party.

CARROLL BLUE:

Let's repeat that.

BOB MANTS:

Lowndes County. Basically there were two reasons for the establishment of the independent political party here in Lowndes County. One is that Blacks were not allowed to participate in the democratic party here. When Blacks attempted to run the interest fee, the qualifying fees were raised to the extent that they could not raise the money or to qualify. The other reason is very, is simply, there was a recognition on the part of those of us who were registering people to vote, not just here in Lowndes County but other places in Alabama, that even after we got them registered to vote, the places where they voted were still controlled by the same people. Ah, the notion of forming an independent political organization, ah, party at the local level is one that was attractive to, to a number of people. Ah, not just the, the civil rights workers, but also people in the county. They need to own their own political party so they can determine their own political destiny. As a result of that effort the Lowndes County, ah, Freedom Organization was formed, ah, here in this county, with the Black panther as its emblem.