As Boone Hammond walked through the project on the hot summer evenings of 1964, he often observed groups of people standing and sitting around in the breezeways under the buildings. One evening Hammond observed that the conversational centre of the group seemed to be shared by five persons: John, his mother, Arthur, and two young women, Josephine and Margaret, who seemed to know the family very well, but were not part of it. Hammond approached the group because he was interested in collecting views about the Democratic primary election held the previous week, in which a popular Negro state legislator had won the position of ward committeeman from one of the few remaining white political functionaries in the area. He started the interview with his tape recorder running because he had discovered that people in these informal outdoor groups were not put off by having their conversations taped.