Interview with William Rutherford

The Paschal's meeting, what happened when y'all got to Paschal's? What did you all do?


Well, when people came to attend the meeting at Paschal's. Bernard Lafayette and I, we made a presentation about the reasons for wanting to conduct the Poor People's Campaign, about our plans for the campaign and what we really hoped to achieve. And this boiled up into a discussion, not of the situation in which Black Americans found themselves, but in, but the situation in which poor Americans found themselves. The Chicanos also spoke very strongly and pointedly to the issues of poverty in America. The poor Whites spoke very pointedly and with great heat and passion to the issue of poverty in America, so did the Native Americans and other participants who were there. We ended up with a several-hours meetings with dozens and dozens of people and organizations that we had never, ah, anticipated which actually gave a larger dimension and larger focus to the whole, ah, structure, ah, and thrust of the Poor People's Campaign.