Interview with Hollis Watkins
QUESTION 13
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT UM, WHAT KINDS OF THINGS DID YOU THINK IT WOULD DESTROY IN TERMS OF THE GRASS ROOTS, AND BE SPECIFIC ABOUT THOSE THINGS.

Hollis Watkins:

Some of the things that I felt that bringing the students in would destroy in terms of grassroots organization, for the first time we had local people who had began to take initiative themselves and do things. For the first time we had local Mississippians that were making decisions about what moves to make next. And where the organization should be going and how the organization politically and economically would work and where it would end up. We felt that with a lot of students from the North coming in, basically being predominantly white, that the mentality, the attitude to come in and overshadow the attitudes and the mentality of these grassroot organizations, therefore causing the organizations to go on a different course rather than that which had already been projected and started. And ultimately when the people from the North would go back the people from the South in Mississippi would have to start all over again, and go through that same rebuilding process of which all of us knew that it is much harder to rebuild something that you have already started again than it is to keep that in motion. And we wanted to keep that in motion rather than stand the risk of destroying and have to rebuild again.