Interview with Bernard Lafayette
QUESTION 10
JUDY RICHARDSON:

Why did you start the, why did you start the--

BERNARD LAFAYETTE:

One of the reasons why we focused--



JUDY RICHARDSON:

Can you talk about ?

BERNARD LAFAYETTE:

One of the problems that we observed was that, ah, the conditions in the Black community, you know, were just, really, sort of, showed that it was unkempt. And one, one of the things that we recognized is that in the Black communities, in many cases, the city did not keep up the same level of services. For an example, the parks were neglected, you know, where Black people live. The streets were not swept. And, you know, these are basic kind of things that have something to do with the appearance of the community. So naturally when White people saw, you know, the conditions of the community, they then, ah, assumed that that was going to happen to their community. And so therefore, they assumed it was related to Blacks. Well, Blacks didn't do it, because Blacks, you know, didn't have the power to determine who would sweep their streets and when they would be kept. And so everybody was part of the conspiracy. The, ah, the realtors for example in terms of managing the buildings. They began to let the buildings fall down and not repair things. The city, in fact there was a little girl in one of our hearings that we had, when we testified and that sort of business--

JUDY RICHARDSON:

BERNARD LAFAYETTE:

Oh, OK.



JUDY RICHARDSON:

BERNARD LAFAYETTE:

Many of the Whites, ah, began to see what happens to Black communities and they became afraid that it was going to happen to their communities. What was not seen was the fact that the city neglected the services of their communities. Streets were not swept. Parks were not taken care of. So it was an abandonment of those communities, which was really not the fault of Black people.