Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; July 3, 1964
Clarksdale, Friday Night, July 3rd
Just a note. Had the meeting but it wasn't decisive. About 50 people showed up (good) and we had a real "rockin" time (songs and all, and believe it or not, due to a lack of ministers, I led a prayer. I prayed for courage for us all to fight for ourselves - sort of a secular prayer.) I'm still hoping for a qualitative breakthrough - a major community movement - and we're still far from that. COFO is discouraging any public accommodations demonstrations - Moses feels such demonstrations would bring down all the weight of Mississippi oppression and squelch us. The summer project is having a revolutionary effect in many communities - police are actually upholding law and protecting us and Negroes.
All that you are doing up North is fantastic - because of the lack (apparent) of danger in Clarksdale I really feel guilty - Sara and Ted picketing while I'm sleeping peacefully. We're all getting very warm and encouraging mail from all over (e.g. today I got 5 letters).
All in all, I'm rolling up sleeves and getting to work. I think (and hope) it will be fruitful. There is still a pall of fear in the community (both black and white) which has to be penetrated.
P.S. Fitz Ryan came (with two other Congressmen). He's really a sharp guy. They're touring the state. He'll probably try to get in touch with you.
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