Interview with Bob Mants

Now those comic strips, how did that get done? What was the story behind that?


Well, ah, part of it in the rural South, the South is known for its story-telling. How people tell tales. Ah, anecdotes, the, the idea was to find a medium in which we could mun- communicate a political message to, ah, constituents see. So our constituents here in Lowndes County. We thought the best way to do that was through, ah, ah, the kind of comic book that we had using the kind of idioms and folk expressions that they were familiar with. And we thought it was quite successful. Again, ah, one of the requirements of Alabama law was that each political party must have an emblem. And the candidates must, ah, come on the emblem on the ballot. And I think that's in large part due to the fact that Alabama has one of the highest illiteracy rates, ah, ah, ah, illiteracy rates in the nation. So to help people who cannot read and write be able to identify with a particular symbol. And for Lowndes County Freedom Organization, the emblem was a Black panther.