Interview with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
QUESTION 37
INTERVIEWER:

YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT YOUR CONVERSATION WITH DIANE NASH BEVEL. IF YOU COULD PICK IT UP FROM THERE.

Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth:

Well, there was a lot of undercurrent. I don't want you to get the impression that there was not. Because there were those who wanted to challenge Dr. King, and challenge the movement, but I said to them, you know, I have no objection if y'all want to have your thing to do it your way, you organize. But in this movement, you know, we will lead. We will agree with you wherever possible, but we have to have the main projection. Our movement will be nonviolent. Our movement will move on this way. And there was a lot of respect. Diane and others they respected me a lot. They respected the suffering I had gone through. Many of them thought that Dr. King had not suffered as I much as I had, and that he ought to be challenged just as a voice without other parties suffering, you see. But my position was that you cannot have a multi-headed movement. And if you're going to be a part of it, you have to be a part of it. And it was a direct confrontation - Dr. King, Abernathy, all of them knew that we had it. She, she, I think she did well by coming to me and saying it because she got my position. And she knew that my position would be the position. Because I said to her "I will have no opposition, that if you all create any diversion, in the movement under the guise of disagreeing with Dr. King, I will call a special press conference and say that I've said this to you, and that will put you in a situation." This wasn't to take anything from her except, as I say, to set the record straight.