Interview with Albert Wilson

Paint a picture for me of that day and what it was like and the chicken smell and the whole thing as if we don't have any pictures and you're going to tell it to us.


Well, Sunday morning and Sunday, early Sunday morning, 7:30 Sunday morning, which was the usual time for most of the kids in the neighborhood to get out and begin congregating in front of our houses or planning our daily routine or whatever. To come out and find that, ah, we didn't have a routine that day. The routine had been altered. The plan had been altered. There was no smell of chicken frying, which was usually the case on Sunday mornings. You can always smell breakfast, or mom's frying dinner, she's making dinner, she's cooking dinner, chicken and you can smell the greens and the corn bread. None of this was there that Sunday because no one had time. And everyone that would usually be in the house was over on the porch. I don't think there was anyone inside their homes that day. As I remember my family, my entire family was on the front porch looking in a westerly direction towards the scene of the, of the riot there, at the corner five and dime there, because that's the first thing we saw was the five and dime bars come down. And being, all the kids being warned to stay, stay at home, stay on the porch. I was forewarned myself to stay at home. "Don't go." And for some reason I went into the house. I remember going in the house and being the only one in the house which is one of the reasons why I say, "Well, nobody's watching me, nobody can see me, so I'm going out the back door." And I asked a couple of friends, come on, let's go. You know, let's go up here and see what's going on. I think they went about, ah, 20 feet with me and decided to change their mind and go back. And I kept going. And I went, ah, I went the long way to keep from being seen by my parents on the front porch. So I went through the alley to the other side of the street and back down 12th Street where I was confronted by a group of neighbors. And, ah, I asked what was going on. And they said, they were going in the store and, ah, they said, Come on. Let's go. I went in also. At that time why I went in, I don't know.