Interview with Bill Perry
QUESTION 4
JAMES A. DeVINNEY:

Okay, I'd like to go on to what the mood was before, as the McDuffie trial was opening perhaps, the policeman. What was the mood? Was there optimism? Tell your feelings of what you sensed.

BILL PERRY:

I think there was general optimism in the community. Ah, we had the state attorney come out and meet with several groups and talk about the case and what would happen, we looked uh, for an indictment. Ah, some- some of us were not too optimistic. I wasn't for one. And at that time I had a series of prayer meetings every evening on the steps of the state attorney's office building. And it just so happened that the evening that the decision came down of freeing the guys, my neighbor came over and called me and crying. And I was mowing my grass. And she told me what had happened and I became angered. And she encouraged me to go start my prayer meeting ear--early that evening. And she proceeded to make phone calls to get other people to come out. Well up until this point I never had more than 15 people participate in those prayer meetings we had outside. That evening when I got 'round to the building, there must have been over 3500 people out there. It was frightening. I, I thought to myself, I said, now I've been asking for some followership and I have it now and I don't know what to do.