Interview with Clay East
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QUESTION 12
INTERVIEWER:

Now, at that meeting, tell me about, you decided about, you told me earlier, but tell me again, how you decided that there was just going to be one union, not a black one, not a white one, but one union?

CLAY EAST:

Well, I, at the meeting, I got up and showed what could be done with a union, and what was being done now under our present system. There never was any discussion, you might say, as to whether we were going to have a black or white union, 'cause that was more or less understood all the way through. That was mostly on account of, when the government man was there at the schoolhouse and explained this thing, they had blacks and whites both there, too, met together, so I couldn't see any reason for us not having our meeting together. We couldn't have two meetings. I explained that to them. In other words, if we had a speaker come in there, they'd have to talk to one union, then turn around and talk to another, and if they had two unions they'd be more or less against one another. So there wasn't any question much about it, we didn't discuss it, and no one...I plainly told them it had to be one union. I got the first members, I've  [ gap: ;reason: unintelligible ]  had to come out and decide whether we were going to have a union or not, and let's take a vote on it. So they voted to have the union, and I had these cards, and the first man asked, "Sign one of these cards." So the whole work signed them.