Finally, let us consider that the future may bring a new kind of movement to this country. Its beginnings can be seen already in rural Mississippi. They are the fruits of the 1964 drive by college students then to build an interracial people's movement.
That movement failed then. But it planted a seed, a seed left over from the old days of the populists under Tom Watson in Georgia, from the old days of the sharecropper's strike in Arkansas. A black Georgian, writing in 1884, made a prediction which may yet come true, and which ought to have some chilling significance for people like ourselves who come to meetings like this. He wrote:
...the future struggle in the South will be, not between white man and black man, but between capital and labor, landlord and tenant. The hour is approaching when the laboring classes of this country, North, East, West and South, will recognize they have a common cause, and a common enemy; and that therefore, if they would triumph over wrong and place the laurel wreath upon triumphant justice, without distinction of race or previous condition, they must unite. When the issue is properly joined, the rich, whether they be black or white, will be found on one side - and the poor, be they black or be they white, will be found on the other.
T. Thomas Fortune, 1884
author's note: sections of this paper are taken verbatim from a report prepared by the Federation of Southern Coops, 52 Fairlie Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30303