Interview with Calvin Taylor

You guys weren't included as part of the COME leadership. How come?


Basically I, I think that, um, that, as I explained before, that we just did not fit the mold of what the leadership was at that particular time, um, Memphis, I can't speak for a lot of other places, but at this particular time, for Memphis many of the Black leaders were either ministers or political people that had been selected or were viewed by the White populace as the leaders. So that when we came along it was like we had no, no one to introduce us as anyone. We had no one to, uh, give us any credibility. We were just simply just some young guys who had a program. And at that time you have to realize that the, the situation around the country was militant. I mean, people were talking Stokely Carmichael. Here come some young guys who look like Stokely Carmichael or sound like Stokely Carmichael. No one wanted that particular type of, um, influence in the Civil Rights Movement at that time. So we, we suffered from that. I mean, no, no, no one ever did. Plus, we had some pretty famous, um, Black leaders at that time in this city in terms of Maxine Smith and the NAACP and that kind of thing.