Interview with Hollis Watkins
QUESTION 30
INTERVIEWER:

TELL ME ABOUT THAT, THAT SUMMIT YOU WERE SENT TO ORGANIZE AND [unintelligible] TO TAKE STEPS TO TAKE ACTION.

Hollis Watkins:

Going into a community alone, you first have, you first have to be committed and determined to bring about change. That gets you over the fear that you have of being… but how you deal with people is that you talk to people on the streets, you know, on the roads one to one, and find out what they're concerned about, what their interests are, and talk about how you can bring about a change. Then get a few of those people to invite some of their friends to a meeting. Once you get the people at a meeting, then you uplift the spirit through the process of singing and once you sing, you then begin to talk about the issues, how the issues can be solved and how we can solve them ourselves. And through that process people will begin to see that and by uplifting the spirit through singing which most people, especially in the South and black people are religious and spiritual people so you just convert that religious atmosphere into the political and organize an atmosphere and people will eventually be prepared to move. The thing that you have to be aware of is when they are ready to move and not push them too fast into something. Because you prepare them too fast then they become suspicious.