...people would say, "Well Black folks have plenty of jobs these days, what's the problem?"
Black people had jobs, Black people didn't have plenty of jobs in the plant. In the mid '60s when I went to work at, uh, Dearborn Assembly Plant, uh, we worked on the assembly line. That was a step up from the coke ovens, but most of us worked on the assembly line, and that's what we did. When you came out of there at the end of the day, uh, that's all you dreamed about was cars, and so forth. It, it was a hard job, it was a monotonous job. And you constantly saw White guys on the assembly line, uh, foremen, in White shirts who would leave and who would drive to a better neighborhood, who would drive a better car and so forth. And, there wasn't the opportunity there, there wasn't any opportunity.**. And I didn't want to end up working in the same situation that my stepfather did, and I didn't want to die like he died at 42, of alcoholism and cancer. Not to say that I would have become an alcoholic, but I saw guys die young, frustrated because they couldn't do the things that they had in their minds and their hearts and I didn't want to be like that.