That was the beginning of the, in my second, third year in college, when we really got involved in the Civil Rights Movement. We really had to, the capital [Montgomery, Alabama] being right down the street, we had Dr. [Martin Luther] King's house being right down the street from the capital, so we had to do our best to try to protect his house.$$Now, I heard or read that the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church was right--$$Right down the street from the capital, right. And right up the, up the hill is the capital. Right down at the bottom of the hill is the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.$$All right, and that's the scene for the organizing of the Montgomery Bus Boycott?$$Right. That church and Reverend [Ralph] Abernathy's church.$$Yeah, so tell us about that. I mean how did--when did you find out or get, become aware that all that was going on in Montgomery?$$I think that a radio station is what I'm told, you know, and I was there, but I wasn't listening to the radio. But they said that they decided to boycott the buses. And they wanted really to try to figure how to get the word out. And they had no way of getting the word out. They couldn't pass out any leaflets like that. But I think some maid heard the, heard, heard about the boycott. And she told her boss that the black folks were gonna boycott the buses the next day. And, of course, the lady called the radio station right away, and that's how we got the word out that the boycott was gonna happen the next day. And, you know, it was really amazing to see people walking. I mean I could--I got up the next morning. I saw people walking, tradesmen carrying their tools on the side and people walking with him, and people really committed. They really were committed to doing whatever their leaders told them they wanted done. That was one time that black folks really stuck together. And they were--and people walking everywhere.$$Now, what were you students talking about when this was going on, and what was the word on campus?$$Well, during the time on campus, we had a boycott going on, on the dining hall, the dining hall and the, you know, toilets in the washrooms and paper towels and things. All those kinds of things were happening. And we didn't really get the amount of attention that we would have gotten because the boycott was going on. So we were able to actively do our boycotting at, and at a certain point in time we were able to successfully achieve what we set out to do.$$Okay, so the students got better food and toilet paper and all the things that--$$(Nodding yes) Got all the things they wanted.$$Okay, and that was occurring just as the Montgomery bus boycott--$$Right, was going on, right.$$Okay, now, did the school administration give you all advice about the boycott? Did they try to keep you from participating or--$$Un-un.$$--did they encourage you to participate or--$$Un-un.$$What happened?$$We had the good sense that it was best that we stay away from the boycott. And we didn't want to get kicked out of school. That was the thing because this was a state-supported school. So we didn't involve too much in it, but quietly--$$Yeah, but did the school tell you that?$$No.$$Did the school administrators say you will be kicked out of school if you participate?$$No, no, they didn't tell us that.$$Okay, but you figured it might--$$Figured it.$$Just kind of figured that might be the case?$$Figured it might be the case, right.$$Okay, well, so what happened next? I mean did you all get involved in it at all?$$Quietly, yes.$$And what happened? What was that involvement about?$$Well, there were some friends of mine who were students and ministers, T. Y. Rogers and Harold Carter, they were ministers. And they were ministers and they got involved with the, Dr. King. In fact, T. Y. Rogers was killed in Atlanta [Georgia] driving to work. He worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC]. But that was after we graduated from college. But during the time we went to college, we were all members of the same fraternity, and we all stuck together. And they say, you hang, hang together or hang separately, whatever you choose. And we figured it's best to hang together. So we worked with T. Y. and Harold Carter. And we were sort of acted, somewhat as a--taking Dr. King to the post office and places like that, but not the sit-ins. But we didn't, well, unfortunately, we were not with him when they blew up his house.$$Okay, well, now, describe what happened when his house was bombed?$$Well, we were in our rooms in the dormitory, and we heard the--the news travels very quickly there, you know. And, of course, he didn't want anybody to act or do anything silly. He just said to the people, just go home. Things will be okay. And we followed his advice.$$So you all went over to his house after you heard it had been bombed?$$Um-hum.$$And he talked to you all directly?$$He talked to a crowd of people.$$Now, did anybody just leave? Did anybody like try to protect him or protect his house? Were there people with--armed people around trying to protect or, you know,--$$I'm not aware of any, but we followed his advice.$$Okay, so students went back--$$Went home.$$Okay, is that the, is that the most dangerous part of the experience in Montgomery, do you think?$$I think so. I do remember students turning over a car, coming through the campus.$$Now, what students, you mean the students at Alabama State [University, Montgomery, Alabama]--$$Um-hum.$$--turned over a car? Whose car was it, and why--$$I, I don't know, very frankly. I really don't know. But I remember seeing the car turned over.$$Okay, and you don't know who it was?$$I really don't know who it was.$$Did students do anything else to help with the boycott, the bus boycott, besides serving as bodyguards? I mean did students do other things?$$There were fundraising campaigns going on and (unclear) on the streets. We worked stopping cars, getting contributions. We did that.$$Did any of you all have cars that you used to help?$$No, we didn't have any cars?$$The days--before black students had cars on campus (laughter).$$(Laughter). No, we weren't that lucky.$$Now, they all have cars.$$Now, they all have cars, right.$$So, did you attend Dexter Avenue Baptist Church or did you ever go over there for a meeting?$$Yes, um-hum, used to love to hear Dr. King speak. He was such a, just an orator, I mean he was good.$$Now, Abernathy's church was First Baptist [Church], is that what it was?$$I think it was First Baptist.$$And I think when Dexter came out of that church in the old days, and that's how they got two Baptist churches.$$Right.$$Did you ever go to his church?$$Yes.$$Well, in 1956, now, you graduated in '56, right?$$Um-hum.$$Now, that was a, one exciting year, I guess.$$Right, it was.$$You graduated from college and--how did that make you feel, you know, all of that activity?$$Well, you know, I was particularly happy one year when Dr. King first came to the campus, you know, we used to have to go to vespers, that is evening service that the student usually prepare to go to sleep in the afternoon because you can't spend the time with your girlfriend on the campus sitting on the lawn. So we had to go to vespers that day. And they said, Dr. Martin Luther King was gonna be a speaker. And we all got together and our, with our friends. And Dr. King came up to the rostrum, and he looked down at the crowd, you know, and he stood and paused for a few minutes. And he said, when Jesus was on the mountain and tempted by the devil, he said, cast yourself down and, and I know you can do it because you're of the Lord. And he turned these stones to bread. It was a moment of difficult decision. And he started to expound from there on. He spoke elo--very eloquently. And it's interesting, he was fine orator. He kept our attention. We couldn't hardly--we were on the end of our seats at the end of his speech.$$So he transformed a sleepy experience into a--$$A wide awake experience, wide awake.$$Now, did you run for any offices in college? Were you the head of anything in college?$$No, I really wasn't.$$But you're a member of the Alphas and--$$Member of the Alpha Phi [Alpha] fraternity.$$Alpha Phi, okay. Now, can you remember what stage the boycott was in when you graduated? Had they finished their negotiations yet or where was it?$$Let's see, I came out in the summer of '56. I'm not sure if they were--they were practically, almost through with the boycott by then I think.$$Now, did you--how did you feel about all the media attention Montgomery was getting on T.V. cause I know when you weren't--I mean not being in Montgomery as a kid, I saw it on T.V. all the time, you know.$$Well, that's, that's the whole, you know, if it didn't get the attention, we wouldn't have been able to achieve what we achieved in Montgomery.$$Were there a lot of reporters in town at that time? Did you see a lot of T.V.--$$Not around the campus, but they were, I'm sure in town. And we didn't get down, down to the courthouse to the hearings, you know. But I'm sure they were there.$$Okay, is there anything else you want to tell us about that time?$$No, it was just an exciting time.$$Did you have a sense that things were changes in the country then, that--$$Hopefully, they were. But I found out later, they weren't. And it still haven't changed that much.$I was asking you about '87 , you know, what you, how you felt in '87, going into the new year--that, after the election of Harold [Washington] with the majority and what you thought the prospects were for the city [Chicago, Illinois], I think, at that point, and the black community?$$Well, the, the prospects or the opportunity for the black community was very, very, very positive, I think. We could all move ahead. And there were a lot of things that Harold wanted to do in the community that meant some, some positive activities for the black community. And--$$I know, we were talking about the day that Harold died. That's what it was, and your personal reflections of that day? What happened?$$That was a very emotional time when they called me up and told me to get over to the Civic Center, over to the Daley Plaza. And I asked them, why? They said the mayor just died. And, of course, I just put up--it was a tough time for me because I was very tied to Harold. He was a very, very close friend of mine. And I went over to the Daley Center, and I think I was there, [Timothy C.] Tim Evans and Larry Bloom--let's see, who else was there? There were 4 or 5--Tim Wright was there. There were 4 or 5 people in there, you know. And we, we were trying to make contact with the hospital. And the information we had gotten was that they wanted--there wasn't anything definite yet. So I got a call from Ed Burke. And he told me the mayor had died. I said, well, how do you know? He said, well, the fireman told me. I said, well, that's not what I'm getting. He said, well, that's what I got. And we went on, went back in the room. And finally we got the call that he really had passed. It was a very emotional thing. So we all just got together and said a prayer and left, went back to the offices. And there was a lot of activities happening and the guys in the city hall was suggesting that we do this and that. I said, look, man, we ain't gonna do nothing. Well, we're just gonna go back down to the council floor and say a prayer for the mayor's family and for the mayor, and that's it. And that was my suggestion that we do that. And, of course, we did that. And there--not to my knowledge, some of the other members were calling for a special meeting, which I didn't really want. But they called it anyway. And then we went into a meeting, and we went to that, beginning of that long night. And it wasn't a pleasant time at all.$$Now, just to put it in perspective, time wise, the death of Mayor Washington occurred on, it was a weekday, right?$$Um-hum.$$Was it on a Tuesday or--cause it was just before Thanksgiving, right?$$Right.$$It was a--was it the Wednesday before Thanksgiving?$$I don't--$$Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday so I'm trying to remember.$$It must have been a Tuesday, I think.$$And, cause his body laid in state for all of Thanksgiving, I think.$$Um-hm.