I decided to focus on three people in the movement: Ella Baker, Amzie Moore, and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Bob Moses: I decided to focus on three people in the movement: Ella Baker, Amzie Moore, and Fannie Lou Hamer. And to use them to illustrate three faculties that we all have, and to say how, for me, they took these faculties to a place where God is. So, that's the essence of what I'm doing. There are, however, five characters in this little reading, besides Ella and Amzie and Fannie Lou, there's Jane. And what I've done with Jane is taken five of her poems and interspersed them through the stories about Ella and Amzie and Fannie Lou, and Jane is a little like Ophelia in Hamlet for SNCC, and her poems touch the part of the movement that hurt. And so, she isn't in the history yet. We haven't figured out yet a way to tell the history of the movement and also tell Jane's story. So, I'll try as I read to indicate when I'm reading her poems, and then at the end, I have a poem that my fifth grade teacher taught me, Mrs. Dewey, and we said it at Ella's funeral. And so I'm going to ask you to, if you feel like it at that time, to say it with me.

Cotton grows in long rows, in longer rows than anything. And cotton is too heavy for a child to tote, take the children home.

Ella, Amzie, and Fannie Lou. Thinking with our minds, acting from our willpower, fielding through our hearts. Fannie Lou with her heart, Amzie with his mind, Ella with her power of will. These three performers put these three faculties into play at a serious level. Spiritual traditions on all sides, centuries in and centuries out, urge us all to put thought, action, and feeling into play at the level where God also plays. This is not easy to do.

» Go to excerpt page