Interview with Robert Williams
QUESTION 8
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT—TELL ME ABOUT THE ECONOMIC PRESSURE THAT YOU MENTIONED.

Robert Williams:

Well, uh, the idea was that I was denied the right to work and was not given a job. Nationwide insurance company cancelled my automobile insurance so that I didn't have insurance on the car and all kinds of things were taking place. And some training programs I was supposed to have gone in, completely collapsed on the grounds that the Klan had paid a visit to the factories. In fact, the company had moved from Massachusetts, and the company—textile-and they were supposed to make, they were going to make me the first black dyer in a textile plant in the whole country. So uh, that didn't pan out because they came under pressure. Then they were going to train me as an engineer in the plant, and uh, they received uh, visitors in a place called [unintelligible] North Carolina from county officials that this was creating a lot of uh, racial conflict. So they dropped it completely. And they got to the place that I couldn't get a job in anything, and the local people kept me there. But we did, men who were earning thirty-five or forty dollars a week, each week we would take two dollars out of their pay and we all band together, and they gave me that money so that I could stay in the South.