Interview with Cleveland Sellers
QUESTION 9
INTERVIEWER:

On February '65 he died. SNCC had an official statement that they issued, press release, can you describe it?

CLEVELAND SELLERS:

Well the, the statement was, was that we supported--

INTERVIEWER:

Statement of?

CLEVELAND SELLERS:

The statement that was released by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and was, was, ah, was read by John, John Lewis. In fact talked about our support of Malcolm and our concern that the struggle that Malcolm led would continue. Ah, that we needed to begin to look more and more to self-determination as, as a people. We needed to begin to talk about our history even more, the history of Black and African people in, in the Americas. And we felt like that Malcolm's assassinated was directly related to an effort to cut off a person who dared to struggle against the status quo. And, ah, we felt a, a kinship to Malcolm in that sense because we were, ah, struggling against the status quo in the South, in Georgia and Alabama and Mississippi. And so what we wanted to do is we wanted to link those struggles. Ah, we also committed ourselves across the south where we worked, to do something special on the day that they memorialized Malcolm. And ah, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee sent myself and John Lewis to Malcolm's funeral. And it was a, ah, a kind of sad occasion but it was also inspirational in that we felt like we were bringing a message to Malcolm. And that message was, was that, "We heard you, we were listening, and in, in essence, we have taken the best of what you offered and we will continue to incorporate that movement in our struggle."