Interview with Arlie Schardt

Okay, that night in Greenwood.


Well the, the kind of contest that was going on was epitomized by the night in Greenwood where there was a very large rally. There were hundreds and hundreds of people and, ah, first there would be a speaker from SNCC, it would be Stokely or it would be Willie Ricks who was terrific at generating crowd enthusiasm, getting, lining up their speeches with the climactic phrase, Black Power and getting the, getting the crowd to be chanting, "Black Power!" "Black Power!" "Black Power!" Then Ralph Abernathy from SCLC would get up and he would give his speech and then he would get the crowd, then he would say to the crowd, "Chant freedom, call for freedom, freedom!" So then the crowd was calling for "Freedom!" "Freedom!" "Freedom!" and the Black Power chant has been set aside. So there was this constant pulling and tugging, ah, both among the, ah, the, the leading groups in the march, the leading civil rights groups in the march, ah, to get the crowd to, ah, respond in a certain way. But also they were obviously trying to, ah, get their messages across on the media. I think both sides were worried that, ah, maybe the only television that night would show either, ah, King would be worried about, about the Black Power slogan being the only thing and Stokely was probably worried about, ah, ah, the integration theme still being the only message that was, that was getting out to the nation at large. So this competition was, was kind of epitomized that night. But it was going on all the time, every day. There was a lot of this jockeying and pulling and hauling for, ah, ah, primacy of, ah, of one's message.


Okay, let's stop down, I think that's the end of it then.