Interview with Cleveland Sellers

But personally, how did you feel when you heard about the assassination?


I was, I was quite, ah, upset and, and distressed. I was a young person still in the movement, and, ah, we had gone through the, the deaths in Mississippi. Ah, we'd gone through some other assaults and, and battering and beatings that had gone on. And we had lost a number of people along the way. I was just very distressed and frustrated, because I thought that we had began to ah, to impact on Malcolm, and Malcolm was beginning to make the, the shift, and was beginning to see c--not civil rights, but human rights as being something that he could be involved in. And those human rights organizations in the South he could be involved in, over the question of voter registration. Malcolm had said that he would assist with voter registration. We even had a, a kind of commitment from Malcolm to go into Mississippi to ah, speak to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. And we saw a growth on both parts. We saw Malcolm growing. We saw SNCC growing. And that was important because as you may or may not know, during that period of time, that wasn't a lot of intellectual stimulating kind of speakers on the scene. Malcolm was that. And Malcolm raised our consciousness, no question about it. And he encouraged us and motivated us to continue to struggle, be dedicated, be committed, be disciplined. We looked at Malcolm in terms of Malcolm's whole, the fact that Malcolm had changed. He at first was one kind of person, he was able to change, discipline himself, educate himself, and move forward. And I think that that was the real essence of what we found to be the best of what Malcolm was all about.


Thank you. Cut.