Interview with Arlie Schardt

Okay, we'll stop down now.


There was every reason for local Blacks, and this, this march was primarily local Blacks marching as the march got near their, their home areas. There was every reason for them to be not only, not only to have the traditional fear of physical violence against them but economic violence was another factor and it meant that it took great courage for these people, for the local Black people to come out in any way be associated with it, either to march or even to stand out on the sidewalk and watch the march come through their town. Let me just read you one thing that I think would set, ah, the example of that. A local, ah, banker, ah, told me along the march, this is a White man, ah, owner of a two thousand acre plantation. And he said, "The march is just a farce and the better class niggers aren't paying any attention to it. I've got niggers working on my plantation and they're better satisfied now than they ever were. Last year I was guardian angel to about twenty families living on my plantation and they wouldn't take a crap without checking with me first. But I don't have any living there now. I just hire them by the day and I'm happy because we don't have to feed their little bastard children anymore." And he said all this very calmly as if he was just calmly presenting to me the White point of view about, ah, about daily life as we moved along Highway 51 and then off into the Delta. And that was the atmosphere that these people had to confront. And so they, they had to make a very courageous decision in order to come out and, and march or support the march in any way, provide food or water or shelter or anything like that as the march came through their areas.


Okay, let's stop down.