Interview with Betty Shabazz
QUESTION 15
CARROLL BLUE:

Two other questions. The 1967 visit to Ramparts magazine, the Black Panthers escorted you to that magazine. Can you describe that incident and your feelings around it.

BETTY SHABAZZ:

I had no feelings. You know I was really surprised that, ah, sometime later I read where someone said that I was really in fear, you know. I didn't even know what was happening, let alone, you know how could I be fearful? I just felt I was in the capable hands of these Black men all dressed up militaristically. I didn't know who they were. Or, I was invited there for a program and, ah, as, as a matter of fact I had gone to sleep on the plane and I, I woke up and we were landing and when I got outside there was all of these, ah, police I would imagine, lined on each side of the little area where you walk from the plane to the, ah, ah, terminal. And when I saw them, all standing there, you know, on both sides, shoulder to shoulder. I went, "Oh my God, someone was on the plane. And, ah, I didn't see them," you know. And I kind of criticized myself for going to sleep on the plane. And as I walked to the end of that walkway and made a, a, a slight right and saw the brothers standing out there dressed militaristically, I went, "OK, I understand." And, ah, there was a young man, ah, reciting part of the Constitution about carrying fire arms and, ah, I don't know it, it really did something to me. I just said, "Oh, wow, that's just really fantastic." And so then I got in a car and was swept away. And so that I certainly didn't have any fear. It was just an experience. And I did not know until afterwards what was happening. And we went to Ramparts magazine and, ah, then they said, "OK we must go now." And I got up and I left. And it was not until we got to the second place that I was told what had happened. And so we were all safe, so, you know. Plus, I was going back to New York anyway.