Interview with Wyatt Tee Walker
QUESTION 21
INTERVIEWER:

TELL ME AGAIN. WOULD YOU START LIKE WITH, YOU KNOW, THE SPECIFICS OF THE PLAN I DREW UP OR WHATEVER. HOW IT…

Wyatt Tee Walker:

The specifics of Project C had to do with making the presumption that we had 300 people committed to go to jail, to stay for a minimum of five days. My idea was that we could take that 300 and march them at ten and twelve a day, with the presumption that something would happen and it surely did, which would in turn - people admire heroism, and then they imitate it - that that would create a groundswell of support in a community was not totally committed to an all-out attack on segregation. Learning by the Albany circumstance, I targeted three stores, Positz was one, I don't recall the other two stores now. And since the 16thth Street Baptist Church was going to be our headquarters I had it timed as to how long it took a youngster to walk down there, how long it would take an older person to walk down there, how long it would take a middle aged person to walk down there, and I picked out what would be the best routes. Under some subterfuge, I visited all three of these stores and counted the stools, the tables, the chairs, etc. and what the best method of ingress and egress was.** Now, it occurred to me that we might not get into the stores downtown. They might block us from getting downtown, so we had to have secondary targets. I then targeted the federal installations, Social Security, the Veteran's, where there were some eating facilities. Our tertiary targets, I had gone out into the surrounding suburban areas and looked at some variety stores, Woolworth's, M.H. Lampston, in these shopping centers as the third target. And I felt that with those primary, secondary, tertiary targets we would be able to do something. In addition to that I spent time with the lawyers, Arthur Shores, to be absolutely familiar with what the laws of the City of Birmingham, Jefferson County, and the State of Alabama, so that we could anticipate what the legal moves would be on the part of the law enforcement officials. And that was I think a judicious move, because when the injunction came we had expected it, and we knew that we were going to break the injunction even before we came to Birmingham. So that, those were the essential pieces, the legislative research, the practica research so far as roots and whatnot and then the recruitment and training of the people who were going to submit to jailing first.