Interview with Clyde Killens

You mean the riot?


Yeah, the riot, when they burning places, it wasn't like you put gasoline on a certain place of fire. This was done army style. Like you leave a place in the army. It was done in army style. That the Fire Department would get there too late, the way they were doing it. And, ah, this thing went on and a lot of, ah, Whites got caught in the thing. They didn't know what was going on. Well, I know I seen one woman, she was bringing her maid home and she run right into it and I happen to be out there at the time. It was Liberty City, Sixty Second Street and Fifteenth Avenue, no, 14th Avenue, and, ah, a friend of mine named Hiram Johnson and myself, we stopped the car because she was supposed to, she going on through to take her maid home. And we told her, "Don't go down in that next block." And there was two, there was three of them in there. So I said, "Let her-" "We taking her home", I said, "Well, let her out." Then the guys come around the car and trying to get the pocketbooks and we wouldn't let them. And we turned them around and let the maid get out and through, and get away, get home the best way she could, just get them out. But, but we really didn't know at that time it was going to be as bad as it was but it just, it was, it was, it was happening down in the next block and then come up this way. So that's one of the things I remember during that riot and they, ah, they kept doing things. Where they had the national convention, the public convention on the beach and they had a Black writer by the name of C.T. Taylor, he could get out there and get all the information he wanted because he was a Black man and he could talk to them and he was right in the middle of it and he was sending the messages back and the people began to tell the station, we don't want to hear about no convention. We want to know what's going on in Liberty City, from C.T. Taylor made a name for himself and got a, he got a program for, with Channel 4 and he had it for years.