Interview with Tougaloo Students, 1964
Project: Who Speaks For The Negro? The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project
Interview SummaryTougaloo College was and is a Black private liberal arts college in Tougaloo, Mississippi (near Jackson), founded in 1869. A small group of people, approximately four to six, one of whom is female, speak; they are not identified in the recording of their interview. Warren discusses with the students the recent trial of Byron de la Beckwith for the murder of civil rights worker Medgar Evers. The trial resulted in a hung jury, with five voting to convict and seven opposed. They discuss whether the trial could have been rigged, and agree that even Mississippi's bothering to rig a mistrial would be a sign that things are changing--i.e., that the power structure knew national attention might make a simple acquittal disastrous. A female speaker expresses the opinion that if Beckwith is convicted in a later trial, he will not get the death penalty and will be pardoned after a short stay in prison. This speaker's skepticism about the motives of any white Mississippians leads Warren to probe the students on whether there can be an honest white Southerner and whether the African American's stereotype of himself has changed. (Note: Beckwith's second trial also ended in a mistrial, but he was convicted of Evers' murder in a third trial thirty years later, in 1994.)
Interview Partial Date
Interview KeywordKenneth Clark Pathology Accommodationism Mohandas Gandhi Guns Sit-ins Trauma W.E.B. Dubois Integration Race identity Bourgeoisie Africa James Baldwin Southern mobs Ross Barnett Jackson (Miss.) Citizens Council March on Washington, 1963 Robert E. Lee Stephen A. Douglas Emancipation Proclamation Abraham Lincoln Abolitionists Newspapers Antisemitism Who Speaks for the Negro? (Book)
Interview LC SubjectAfrican Americans--Civil rights Race relations Black universities and colleges African American leadership African Americans--Social conditions African Americans--Societies, etc. Charisma Nonviolence Protest movements Human rights Black Muslims Passive resistance United States--Race relations African Americans--Conduct of life African Americans--Social life and customs African Americans--Southern states Segregation Elections Elections--United States--Demographic aspects Police misconduct Civil rights demonstrations National monuments African American--History Confederate States of America--Biography Social movements Racism Civil rights movements--United States Civil rights workers African Americans--Relations with Jews
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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