Interview with Wyatt Tee Walker
QUESTION 7
INTERVIEWER:

AROUND 1960, WHAT WAS THE NEED DID YOU FEEL OF SCLC TO HAVE THE SINGULAR LEADERSHIP THAT YOU SEEM TO FEEL IS SO IMPORTANT, AND THAT SINGULAR LEADERSHIP BEING AROUND DR. KING?

Wyatt Tee Walker:

I didn't think we had to have any singular leadership. I just felt if SCLC was involved that Dr. King ought to have say-so, input, and if necessary, veto power on what was being done. We did have a different operations methodology. Ella Baker was the guru of the SNCC arena, and she had a very strong view that you must have collegial leadership, and it wasn't necessary to have a spokesperson. Well, I ask you on the American scene to point to any movements that have succeeded other than having a strong spokesman, e.g. John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers. I'm trying to think of the automobile fella, who, he…I can't…I can't think of his name now. But movements on the American scene, in the West and probably [laughter] in the East as I think of Dong Chow Ping, have always been more successful and productive when there is a spokesman rather than this collegial arrangement, e.g., the Politburo of the Soviet Union which keeps on stumbling along with its attempts at Marxist theory and what its production quotas are as far as feeding the people of their… of their land.