Film, Video Image 11 of 1 transcript 1 transcript
WT: It was not a SNCC project. As I say, Anne Braden, they had covered—SCEF had covered—the Bradens were friends with McCrackin in Cincinnati. Carl Braden, you know, when he was blackballed by the Courier-Journal, I think he worked for the Enquirer, one of the newspapers in Cincinnati. He commuted, you know. And so, they knew McCrackin.
So, it was just a matter of they knew somebody was—you know, it was typical Movement. [Laughs] They thought somebody—we got there. We were told to go to this white guy’s—he was a farmer, Redfearn. He was friendly with the African Americans. He had tried to run for sheriff, you know, and didn’t make it. You know, but—so, we spent a couple of nights with him, but we couldn’t stay there because of what we were—we did voter registration primarily.
DC: And that was dangerous for him to have you around?
WT: Yeah, it was dangerous for him to—and also destructive of his political, you know, intentions. You know, in those days, you courted the black vote privately, you know.
WT: So, [0:25:00] we moved over and we did voter registration work, you know.
DC: Going out every day?
WT: Yeah, trying to talk in churches and trying to take people down.
DC: Um-hmm, and how did that go?
WT: Well, it was—didn’t go very far, you know. [Laughs] I got jumped once coming back from downtown. And the other thing, we did something with the youngsters. As I told you, we took a bunch swimming in Memphis at a black YMCA, or a YWCA, I forget which one it was. You know, the kids had never been swimming. You know, they didn’t have bathing suits, so Bunny—we were in touch with the guys back in Cornell, and they rounded up donated bathing suits, you know, women’s and men’s, girls and boys. And we had enough suits to take three or four carloads, you know, to swim. So, we did stuff like that, you know.
About this Item
- Walter Tillow oral history interview conducted by David P. Cline in Louisville, Kentucky, 2013-06-21.
- Contributor Names
- Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) (Creator)
- Cline, David P., 1969- (Interviewer)
- Tillow, Walter M., 1940- (Interviewer)
- Created / Published
- Louisville, Kentucky, June 21, 2013
- Subject Headings
- - Civil rights movements--United States
- - Civil rights movements--Mississippi
- - Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
- - Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
- - Voter registration--Georgia
- - Civil rights workers--Interviews
- - Communists--United States--Interviews
- - Interviews
- - Filmed interviews
- - Oral histories
- - United States -- Kentucky -- Louisville
- Filmed interviews
- Oral histories
- - Summary: Walter Tillow discusses how he joined the Civil Rights Movement as a college student and how that led him into labor and leftist movements. He describes his childhood in New York City and the leftist politics of his parents, as well as how he learned about the Movement as a college student at Harpur College and as a graduate student at Cornell University. In 1963 he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and moved to Fayette County, Georgia where he worked on voter registration drives. He later worked in the SNCC communication office in Atlanta. He describes in detail the movement for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In 1965 he left the Movement to work for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) and he later worked for the Communist Party.
- - Acquisition Note: The Civil Rights History Project is a joint project of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture to collect video and audio recordings of personal histories and testimonials of individuals who participated in the Civil Rights movement.
- - Existence and Location of Copies: Copies of items are also held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (U.S.).
- - Conditions Governing Access: Collection is open for research. Access to recordings may be restricted. To request materials, please contact the Folklife Reading Room at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/folklife.contact
- - Related Archival Materials: Artifacts associated with the interview are at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- - Biographical History: Walter Tillow was a civil rights activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was also a labor organizer for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), an anti-war activist, and member of the Communist Party.
- 7 video files of 7 (Apple ProRes 422 HQ, QuickTime wrapper) (108 min.) : digital, sound, color. 1 transcript (59 pages)
- Call Number/Physical Location
- Source Collection
- Civil Rights History Project, (U.S.) (AFC 2010/039)
- American Folklife Center
- Online Format
- online text
- IIIF Presentation Manifest
- Manifest (JSON/LD)
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Civil Rights History Project collection (AFC 2010/039), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Civil Rights History Project, U.S, David P Cline, and Walter M Tillow. Walter Tillow oral history interview conducted by David P. Cline in Louisville, Kentucky, -06-21. Louisville, Kentucky, 2013. Video. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2010039_crhp0092/.
APA citation style:
Civil Rights History Project, U. S., Cline, D. P. & Tillow, W. M. (2013) Walter Tillow oral history interview conducted by David P. Cline in Louisville, Kentucky, -06-21. Louisville, Kentucky. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2010039_crhp0092/.
MLA citation style:
Civil Rights History Project, U.S, David P Cline, and Walter M Tillow. Walter Tillow oral history interview conducted by David P. Cline in Louisville, Kentucky, -06-21. Louisville, Kentucky, 2013. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2010039_crhp0092/>.