Interview with Rev. Orloff Miller
QUESTION 20
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT EFFECT DID HIS DEATH HAVE ON THE PROGRESS OF THE MOVEMENT AT THAT TIME? TALK ABOUT THAT.

Rev. Orloff Miller:

it's a terrible thing to have to say, but some, for some reason it took the death of a white clergyman to turn things around. You talked about Tuesday as being the Turn-around Day, and it was. It wasn't just the turn-around of the march at the bridge though, it was the turn-around of how America saw the civil rights struggle. Because when Jim Reeb was killed in Selma, Alabama, a white clergyman from the North, people suddenly sat up and took notice and from then on things changed in the movement. People came from all over the country to Selma, Selma became a flood of demonstrators and people went to Washington and they waited upon President Johnson, ministers came to the White House and Johnson rightly said, "Where have you been all these years?" And where had we been? Well, we finally woke up and it was Jim's death that woke us up. Well as a result of all that, eventually even the courts came around and the march was permitted to happen from Selma to Montgomery. And within a week it culminated in Montgomery. [telephone ringing] I'd better answer it.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

THIS WILL BE TAKE 6.