Interview with Ethel Mae Matthews

What was Resurrection City trying to accomplish?


Resurrection City, to me, was trying to bring peoples of all nationalities together to let them know that one problem was everybody's problem. And, and, ah, Dr. King was teaching that, you know, that everybody was somebody, that just because you was Black and poor or poor and White or poor and what's another nationality, that didn't mean you wasn't nobody. And he was teaching us, you know, to have faith, have courage, and hold up our head and not bend our backs and let nobody ride ours backs. And he told us, he's teaching us, that as long as we had a straightened up back, couldn't nobody ride it, except when we bent over, you know, we was giving peoples a chance to jump on our back and ride. And that's the kind of stuff he was telling us about, you know. And, ah, telling us to not to be violent, you know, not to be violent and he was saying that, you know, if somebody come and slap you on one side of the cheek, you turn the other side to him, which ain't too many peoples are going to do that and which too many peoples didn't do it at that time either, you know. And that's, those are the kind of things he was teaching, you know. Non-violent, non-violent that was his thing. He teach you not be non-violent. But he also taught you about independency. You know, and about your rights, you know. He taught us about that, courage and faith and depending on God, that he also taught us that, you know, we had the problems and God had the answers. If we were, you know, believe in what, you know, in God.