Interview with Floyd McKissick

When you finally got to Jackson, what were your feelings by that time? There had been a lot of discussion, a lot of debate and discontent in some cases, along the way, did you feel there was any future for unity in the Civil Rights Movement or any sense of accomplishment? What did you feel?


Well, as, as, I felt more like a parent, ah, a middle man when we got to, ah, to, ah, when we got to Jackson. My mind was firmly made up. I've always lived in the South and never wanted to really be an urbanized northern man. I knew that the roots to any movement was in the South. Secondly, I knew that the change would have to come from the South and move northward. Thirdly, I knew that what we had been doing, we could no longer do. Our growth had grown and the populace that we were serving were now making more demands out of us rather than having ceremonial candle light marches. That the march at Selma had served this purpose and we had received casualties. But somehow or another in the future we were going to have to deal with the economics of the Black man. And when I made my speech, in, in Canton, I mean in Jackson, I spoke to those various issues. Although my speech was not recorded. I think that went, by the time I got to the mike the press wanted to hear what Dr. King had to say and unfortunately because they really wanted to hear what one man had to say, they missed so much of the total philosophy that was being carried on that would have educated White America, ah, we spent decades trying to eradicate that and trying to resolve the meaning, the true meaning of Black power and the directions that the movement would go.