Interview with Arthur Johnson
QUESTION 1
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

So if you could just tell me how Detroit was similar or different to other northern cities in the late 50s, early 60s--

ARTHUR JOHNSON:

I think in the, ah, 50s and the early 60s the city of Detroit was very much a racist city, and its practices and policies, ah, reflected pretty much the, ah, pattern of race relations throughout the north. And it's important to emphasize in that connection that, ah, ah, this was racism in the raw and, and it was, ah, only different in, in certain, ah, aspects, certain character--

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

I have to stop you for a second. Um, I think if you communicate more--

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

And if you could just tell us again what Detroit was like--

ARTHUR JOHNSON:

Well, Detroit in the 50s and, and the early 60s was, ah, very much a racist city, and this was a problem which characterized every aspect of community life - housing segregation was rampant, ah, job discrimination was, ah, rampant, ah, a, a Black person was not able to, ah, ah, be hired as a, as a cab driver, Checker cab driver, nor would a cab, ah, Checker cab pick a Black person up downtown Detroit unless they felt like it, in spite of the law. Ah, ah, discrimination in public eating and drinking establishments was, ah, was, was common. Ah, so this was a, a very racist city and I think its, ah, ways and, and practices, ah, in, in that period, ah, reflected pretty much the, ah, the character of the racial problem throughout the North.