Interview with C. T. Vivian


C. T. Vivian:

Well, it was, oh, it was really received, of course Martin was always received, so there's nothing new about that, I think, I think how it happened [overlap] and why it was the 2nd is probably the kind of stuff you need, is that, you see, let me sort of give you a background then you play with it as you want to. See, what had really happened is, SNCC had been there, Bernard Lafayette had been there and for a period of time, right? But nothing wa- not "nothing," but things were not happening like most of the people, like the leadership of the town wanted them to go, O.K.? And even some of the direction, the thinking and so forth, they were not for. Uh, and since things were not moving like they wanted them to and it was about time to bring in somebody else, is the way they thought. Well, I'm national director of affiliates right? So I have to go ahead and troubleshoot everything, make certain plans. So I come into town and uh, I remember pers- I remember most of them, but Miss Marie Foster stands out in my mind as being one of those persons that just couldn't, you know, she- and she was, she was so mixed up because she liked Bernard and the whole group, at the same time, she wanted something else, and uh, then there were other people there that just didn't like SNCC and wanted something else. Then there were people there that said, "You know, I wish there was some way that we could really work together, you know what I mean?" But there had to be a new set of leadership, all right? Now, uh, uh, so that once it was agreed, once they passed a thing, the leadership of the town, you know, the, the movement there passed the thing, that they wanted us to come, right? When I go back, I'm just trying to give you the wholeness of it, right? I go back to Atlanta, and we began to talking about how are we going to do it, right, so once all of it is cleared, we know everything is right, and we go back and forth between Doc and the people there. And you know, and are [unintelligible] directing the people and all that kind of stuff clear up. So, O.K., so then we decide to come in. Now, when are we going to come, how will we plan it, et cetera, et cetera, O.K.? So we began to send people in to begin the preparation but we've already decided that January First is Emancipation Proclamation day, so here's the time to do it, all -right? The whole town's ready for a speech and, anyway, right? The Emancipation Proclamation day is the real way to do it. Something happened on the First is the reason we did not do it I think, and it was on the Second that we did it. In fact, I was thinking it was the Third or Fourth.