Interview with Charles Sherrod
QUESTION 9
INTERVIEWER:

I'M GOING TO STOP YOU AND I WANT YOU TO TELL ME WHO WAS, BECAUSE NOBODY HEARS MY VOICE. OK. GO RIGHT AHEAD.

Charles Sherrod:

One of the most disturbing points that I have uh, observed in people who either write or talk about the movement in 1960 in Albany, has to do with Chief Pritchett, the then police chief. They say that he was nonviolent. How could a man be nonviolent who observed people being beaten with billy clubs, uh, one young lady was dragged up the steps of the uh courthouse, after being arrested, by uh, her hair. Another man, Reverend Samuel Wells, was uh dragged uh into the courtroom with his, by his gonads. Uh, one person was hung in the, in the uh, in the jailhouse, by his thumbs. All under the direction and authorization and uh officiating of this nonviolent police chief, Laurie Pritchett. Uh, I just don't understand how they could come up with this, but it has uh has been the case. People who were taken out to the counties, uh, because they couldn't hold us, the jail couldn't hold us

FILM PRODUCTION TEAM:

[That was a rollout on Camera Roll 187. Going to Camera Roll 188.]

Charles Sherrod:

I remember a statement that Chief Pritchett made to me, one time, when he says, "You know, Sherrod, it's just a matter of mind over matter. I don't mind, and you don't matter."** And that statement was certainly true of people that he sent to Tarrell County and Baker County, cause I was, I witnessed myself, the uh deputy sheriff slapped me almost unconscious, just because I said yes, and no. Those were the early days when I didn't know that uh you just didn't say yes or no to these white folks, you had to say yes, sir, and no, sir. And the same things were done a thousand times all over the country. They took the heat off us in the winter, and the summertime, they cut the heat on, and uh wouldn't give us any blankets, or mattresses, and they stuffed forty people in cells. This happened all over southwest Georgia, in all the counties where, in fact, one lady, as I said, lost her child. I think that was about the worst incident that we felt.