Interview with Albert Turner
QUESTION 10
INTERVIEWER:

HOW DID YOU HAPPEN TO BE AT THE SELMA MARCH BRIDGE?

Albert Turner:

Well, uh… after Jimmy was killed we was infuriated to the point that we wanted to carry Jimmy's body to George Wallace and dump it on the, on the steps of the capitol. We had got about like the white folk are. We had determined or decided that we were going to get killed or we was going to be free. And be frank about it. And all of us just about felt that way. So we had intended to do everything we could so we was mad, I guess you'd say, and we said that we would take Jimmy down and just put his casket on the doorsteps of the capitol.** And of course uh, Dr. King um… kind of talked us out of the idea and decided that uh… let's have a march for real. Uh, all of the people, the whole movement would uh… march to Montgomery and meet with George Wallace, this would be something like the culmination of the… voter registration drive or whatever you want to call it. And uh, they told us to wait and they was getting this together and all of us would go and of course I was supposed to have been representing the people of Marion. I walked second in the line that day as one of the leaders of the movement, John Lewis and Hosea Williams and Bob Mance and myself were considered the four people who made the line. Bob was representing the local SNCC we called it and I represented the local SCLC. Hosea represented nationally the SCLC. and John Lewis supposedly represented the national SNCC. And that's how I ended up second in line that day. But uh, I also at that point was serving as state director of SCLC too, I had to become a full time SCLC worker, I left my tools on the job uh, on that first Monday and didn't go to work. Uh, that first Monday to go get registered and uh of course I haven't gotten a chance to go back to work since uh, to lay any more brick. And uh, as a result I later became the state director of uh, the total movement uh, at that time and I was really there as official of the organization along the fact that… we represented about half the people on that, on that on that march were from Marion. We took cars of people from here. And uh, we were serious at that time because basically the whole thing was around the Jimmy Jackson thing at that point. Other people by that time had been killed I think. Reverend Reeves was dead at that time when the march really came off. But uh, Jimmy was the spark plug of the whole thing and we kind of decided we would wait and have an organized thing instead of just going down out of uh, emotions and carrying the body and drop it on the doorstep of the capitol.