Interview with Robert Moses


Robert Moses:

Right. I think that when you look at Mississippi, John Silver, who was at University of Mississippi characterized Mississippi as the closed society. And here we were trying to drive a kind of wedge into it and begin to open it up. And the people who were actually organizing and deeply behind the closure were right up there in the delta and the initial meetings of the White Citizens Councils were held right there in Indianola, Mississippi, right in Sunflower County which was James Eastman's home county. Greenwood was right next door and so we were in their backyard now, and what they had counted on was that we would never be able to actually involve the mass of the people in large numbers. They had counted on what they were calling apathy. That people were really satisfied with their present lot and they really couldn't get out in large numbers and Greenwood just dispelled that. I mean after Greenwood nobody could say that the people are apathetic. They could say they were hungry, but they couldn't say they were apathetic in exchange for a little bit of food. They were willing to risk everything they had, really, to go down and stand at the registrar's office and try to register and vote.