Interview with John Conyers
QUESTION 9
INTERVIEWER:

What about new problems? What about what was happening in terms of the expressways and the splitting of the Black in the Black community, the crowding of 12th Street and the White business beginning to sort of just move out in the suburbs. What was that doing to the Black community?

JOHN CONYERS:

Well, all that was part of the socioeconomic.

INTERVIEWER:

I'm sorry. If you could just give me back what I gave you in terms of what was happening.

JOHN CONYERS:

Well in terms of a, of a socioeconomic movement you, you, you must remember that there was a lot of, of other changes that was, that were going on that were much larger than the city could really control. As a matter of fact when we started talking about, ah, urban renewal. It was called Black removal. And, ah, ah, the businessmen were relocating, some of the businesses already were, were taking off, ah, there, there was a perceptible White flight problem going on. The, ah, the segregated patterns, ah, housing, ah, residentially, job-wise, were really very, very tight. There, there were, there were no, ah, ah, affirmative action programs. You, you must remember we didn't even have a national civil rights law at this time. And all of it, ah, was creating a buildup of tensions, ah, that were going to ultimately lead to an explosion. And, and the mayor himself was powerless to deal with it just from a municipal point of view. They were, they were far more intractable than that.