Interview with C. T. Vivian
QUESTION 55
INTERVIEWER:

WHOA. [Miscellaneous] O.K., WE'RE GOING TO ROLL AGAIN. JUST ONE VERY BRIEF QUESTION ON THE BOYCOTT, Uh, A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THE BOYCOTT GENERATED A LOT OF FEAR IN THE CITY, THAT YOU KNOW, THE MOVEMENT WAS REALLY CALLING THE SHOTS. HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

C. T. Vivian:

Uh, the demonstrations uh, created in many white people, a fear of what was possible if blacks united the first time that it happened. Uh, naturally because of their own racism, they were afraid of anything that blacks did because they were oppressors, they were always afraid of the oppressed, all right, which created a dynamic in the city. But you see, here's where nonviolence saves us again, because no matter what they said, the oppressed were moving against the oppression with nothing in their hands with which to destroy, but something in their heart for a now relationship, right? So, because there was nothing in our hands, they could not then react to us in the ways that the old south normally did. They either had to accept this new loving black man and woman, or in fact, reject themselves. Now, they were caught in that kind of dilemma. Uh, black people on the other hand, had found a method whereby they could rejoice and yet not have any attempt to destroy the other, but only open up the society fully to everyone.