Last Thursday I had the honor and the pleasure of receiving an email from Diane McWhorter, author of Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution. As I mentioned in Part 3 of From the Delmar Archive to Bombingham, Alabama, her excellent book contains one of the only published accounts of the Roosevelt Tatum episode which I have been writing about. Her book has been extremely important for me as I try to understand the the Tatum story.
It was gratifying to hear from her that she is eager to see what I write in Part 4 of the series. I explained to her that I've been struggling to find the time to work on Part 4, but that I hoped to post it soon. If you're reading this, you know that Part 4 is now posted. I also explained to her something that I haven't explained in my blog. The previously declassified file on Roosevelt Tatum that I received is not the only set of FBI documents I have on his case. After I received the first file, I appealed the deletions in the file and eventually received some more documents pertaining to the case.
Until recently, I read documents as they arrived and then put them aside, intending to work on them later. Now that I'm really doing this project, I've been getting more organized, but there are a few things that I know I have in my house that have not yet turned up. I knew I had more documents on Roosevelt Tatum, but I wasn't sure where they were. My protocol in starting this blog has been begin with what you've got: the main thing is to get writing.
Of course when Diane McWhorter started asking me questions about my work on Roosevelt Tatum, that got me looking for the additional documents again. I don't think I've found everything, but I did find one small sheaf of pages from the FBI that adds some interesting information to the case. Really, what they add is more narrative. I've given you most of the relevant facts, but now I've got a little more of the story.
But first, tomorrow, I'm planning to bring my computer into the shop. When I get it back I will get working on these new documents, hopefully getting the new post up faster than I did Part 4 of the series. This is also to say that Part 5 will now be based on the new documents. The analysis of Tatum's various statements will have to wait until Part 6. And then, finally, I'll be done with this series. Until I find the rest of the documents.
I'm really itching to get on to some of the other things I've got lined up for blogging. Coming down the pike will be some stuff on the AGVA Salute to Freedom, a benefit concert held at Miles College in Birmingham, to raise money for transportation to the March on Washington. Once I've blogged the concert, it will be time to post a fragment from my dad's never completed autobiographical novel, Long Days Short Nights. And then I've got hundreds of pages of FBI documents on The Greater New York Council for a Sane Nuclear Policy in the years Dad was executive director for that organization.
But first I have to endure being without my beloved Power Book while it's being repaired. Here's hoping the repair will be speedy and effective.
I'll be able to check my email from my wife's computer and do some web surfing during the day when she's at work and her computer is here at home. But it won't be the same.