Interview with Joseph Azbell


Joseph Azbell:

When you talk about downtown merchants, you're talking about two groups. You must remember that Montgomery was downtown Dexter Avenue was heavily chained store. J.C. Penney, Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Fair, Verners, Mangles, Belks, Bushes, H.L. Green Company, Kresses, Woolworth, there wasn't any Woolworth, but these kind of stores were there. Then you had the independent owners. Well, those chain stores had quotas to make. And they didn't want to lose their job. Those managers were very concerned and they didn't know what to do but they kept their white soda fountains, and their black soda fountains and their white restaurants, and so forth. But they went around, they sent King into the police commissioner and the mayor, and the public works commissioner, and said, "Isn't there any way you can stop this? You got to stop this. You've got to get these buses back. We're we're, we're hurting," because and Monroe street were the independent owners and they, their survival depended on their cash flow and it was hurting them. And it, it, it, was a bad, bad thing and the whole, if you talk about economic impact, it was so strong, that you could see, you could get a parking space downtown for the first time. I mean, it was, we had a parking problem downtown well during the boycott, the parking problem disappeared. That was one of the offshoots of it.