Interview with Hollis Watkins


Hollis Watkins:

Growing up as a young black male in Summit, Macomb area there were many things that bothered me. One thing that stayed in my mind was when I was very young, my father went into the grocery store to buy sugar and they told him they didn't have sugar and I saw white people going in and buying sugar. Uh, as I grew, you know, there were, when I would be in town, there were restrooms that I could not use. If I went to the movie eventually I had to uh, sit downstairs where things was constantly thrown, you know, on our heads, there were not libraries that we could go to to do any research uh, to help further our studies. There were many eating places in the towns where blacks weren't allowed to go into ‘em and eat, there were about two that if you went to and went around on the back you could be served through a little window. So these are some of the things that bothered me. These are some of the things that I felt that needed to be changed in addition to the whole thing of voting. There were churches even in terms of the religious aspect that blacks could not go to church with whites. And I had questions about this and I felt that was wrong and man—these things along with many others I felt we just had to take a stand and try to change.