Interview with Cleveland Sellers

But the spirit was around self-defense.


The spirit was around self-defense, certainly. And that was, like I say, this, this is something that's emerging inside of the movement and what we're beginning to see is a shift away from, from just talking about non-violence and in order for you to shift away you see other, ah, phil--philosophies, kind of creeping in, other tactics creeping in. Ah, now we're talking about empowerment. And we're talking about Black empowerment. Not only registering to vote, we already had won the, a, a, secured the 1965 Voters' Rights Act but we're talking about how to vote and how to get the kind of power so that you wouldn't have to worry about, ah, being a registered voter and the person who you have elected, either by omission, ah, is the one who comes to your house and beats you up and drag you off to jail. We were beginning to raise those kinds of questions and beginning to try to find solutions to the problems that people faced in their communities.