Interview with Floyd McKissick
QUESTION 8
JAMES A. DeVINNEY:

I know that a couple organizations withdrew, I'm trying to understand what reasons were that they withdraw. NAACP, Urban League, I know pulled out.

FLOYD MCKISSICK:

Well the NAACP, well there were a number of groups and individuals there. The NAACP that was a, a, a, a, Medgar Evars, Medgar Evars' brother that is, Charles Evars and individuals, Whitney Young represented the Urban League was there, ah, likewise Stokely Carmichael of Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. I think he had just recently been elected.

JAMES A. DeVINNEY:

I know who was in the room but I know that there was disagreement. I'm trying to get at what they disagreed about.

FLOYD MCKISSICK:

They disagreed about aims and objectives, ah, of the march. And my point, ah, and of course the CORE point was that we should march. And that, ah, we should ask for far more than was asked than the march on Washington. Now, as for one, I always felt that the march on Washington, we never asked for enough and our demands and the threat of the movement had stopped short. And here was a time where our ideas should be broadened. I felt that one of the major problems that Black people had, even if we had a Civil Rights Bill and the Civil Rights Bill were then being had and some had passed. Even then if you didn't have the right to, if you didn't have the money to register at the Holiday Inn, what good was the right to live at a Holiday Inn, if you didn't have the money. Basically the entire American system was an economic system. Politics was totally economics and economics was totally politics. You cannot divide them. And I think the great French writer who came over here and all of the others simply said, "We are an economic system." And until we could participate in the system, ah, and that would be in, from an economic system, all the way, that would, then we would be accomplishing something. Second point of it, one, psychologically, Blacks had been told to be subservient, to fear, to do what White people said. And this would have to be attacked. The march on Washington did not deal with this. We were trying too much common ground and not enough substantive ground that would carry us into the areas of, ah, the areas where the masses of Black people needed to be elevated. And one of the things that the marchers would do, were to unify to bring about a broader political base, to get people to register and vote and likewise to demand a freedom bill of rights, which at time was being advocated by the A. Philip Randolph Institute by Bayard Rustin.