Interview with James E. Smith

What about the decision to bring Dr. King in? Was it tied to morale?


Yes, it was a question of morale because we had been to the city council. They did nothing. And therefore, the morale was low, but the men were sticking together. They were strong and they were standing. But the morale was low. And a decision was, was made that we should try to build the morale of the men and also bring the, the community, the Black community closer together and galvanize it, make it strong and unified like never before. And the decision was made to ask Dr. King to come to Memphis. And Reverend Jim Lawson was asked to get in contact with Dr. King because Jim had worked with Dr. King for a long time. And Jim said, "Yes". And, and, and, and, and Jim Lawson and Jessie Epps worked for our union, went down to meet with the Dr. King and that's how Dr. King was invited to Memphis, Tennessee.