Interview with Peter Orris
QUESTION 2
INTERVIEWER:

HOW DID YOU HEAR, A LITTLE BIT UH, MORE CONCRETELY, HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT GOING DOWN TO MISSISSIPPI? THAT BUNCHES OF PEOPLE WERE GOING AND WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO, YOU KNOW, TRAVEL THAT THOUSAND MILES OR WHATEVER IT WAS, AND GO DOWN BY YOURSELF?

Peter Orris:

Well, I had come into contact with uh, SNCC organizers and uh, members, the uh, summer before. I was working in the national office of the March on Washington for jobs and freedom in 1963. And uh, I was 17 at the time, and was very impressed with the uh, SNCC workers that were involved in that process uh, and in that organization as well as those that I met in Washington at the time of the march, and in going to college uh, sometime in the spring of my freshman year at college, four of us uh, from the civil rights coordinating committee at the college, went to uh, uh, Atlanta for a regional meeting of SNCC and uh, we heard about what was going on, we met many people that were involved in voter registration and uh, direct action uh, from the southern states and it was a tremendously uh, impressive and uh, exciting experience. And so that the question of uh, why I, I went uh, or wanted to be involved in the Mississippi summer project was sort of on the other, other foot. It was for me, a tremendous privilege to be allowed to participate in this movement for racial justice, it was… and at 18 years old, to be able to be involved in uh, this kind of a struggle uh, was just very important to me.