Joe Hammond Interview
by Mary Bobo
April 16, 1979
Transcribed by Hannah White
Oral History Center
University of Louisville Archives and Records Center
I would like to see younger people—and this is younger people of all races—really stay in school and get the necessary education that they should have. Not necessarily—because not all people are not college oriented, college material—but those who do not want to go to college, I certainly feel that they should get trained for some kind of vocational training, so that it will train them for a job that they can be gainfully employed in and be a credit to the community, instead of being a discredit to the community
There is more interest (in grassroots), but there still is a glaring lack of interest for most of the younger people in politics. They still have not gotten as much involved as the group that I work with would like to see them get. We think that the young people have an awful lot to give to politics if they just would, if they would realize how important it is to get involved in politics early in life. And whether you like it or not, if you don’t want to work at it, you can certainly come out and vote. And many of the young people do not even vote. It’s difficult to get many of them to even register. But there is still a lot more interest today than there was two years ago, for instance.
I just hope that somewhere in my lifetime, I will see the younger people take the interest. I would like to see those in education and industry get together and put forth or put together, some type of program that will make the younger people want to prepare themselves, give them the incentive to do this. I guess it’s going to take the parents involved, and they’ve got to be probably greatly involved—a greater involvement than anyone else—to sort of prepare their children to recognize opportunities that are here, if they would just take advantage of them.
Mary Bobo: This is Mary Bobo with the UofL Oral History Project. Today is April 16, 1979. I’m talking with Mr. Joe Hammond. Mr. Hammond was born March 26, 1916 in Bardstown, Kentucky. He presently resides in Louisville, Kentucky. His parents were Mary Rose Hammond and Walter Hammond. Mr. Hammond, at this time, could you give me some idea of when you came to Louisville, and the circumstances under which you came to this city?
Joe Hammond: Well, my parents. It was their decision, I’m sure. They decided to move to Louisville when I was approximately four years old. So, we did. We moved to Louisville and, as I remember, Father had quite a hard time during that time of finding employment, gainful employments, so we were a poor people, poor family. But eventually, he did find a job and began working, and of course I came up, as a result, in Catholic school. I was born—reared, really—in the eastern part of the city called Smoketown, and I went to school there, elementary school, at St. Peter Claver Catholic School. Which I finished the elementary school and went on to, at that time, which was called St. Mary’s, or Catholic Colored High School, on 8th Street, which was a Catholic school, and I finished my high school education there. After that, I thought, possibly, that I might want to go to college. I went to Pittsburgh, thinking that maybe I would go to school there, but circumstances were set so that I didn’t. So as a result, the education was, of course, just high school education. Approximately, 1936, I guess it was, I came back to Louisville and there I was able to get employment as a life guard and what, at that time, was—no, not Shepard Park—the park that’s located at 17th and Magazine. That was the swimming pool that the, for black people at that time. And there I found a job, and I think I was approximately eighteen, twenty years old. As life guard.
MB: Did you have other brothers and sisters?
JH: No, I had a brother that was born in 1918 and I think that was the time that we had the flu epidemic, so he lived approximately—he contacted flu, I had flu, and my father had flu all at the same time. My father and I were able to survive it. My brother was not. He died at the age of two weeks. I never had any other brothers or sisters.
MB: What line of work was your dad able to successfully make a living for as far as—
JH: At that time, I think he was able to find a job, or he found a job, at what was called Standard Sanitary on 7th Street in a foundry, and there he worked for many years as a foundry worker. Common labor foundry worker.
MB: But from the beginning, your parents were interested in you going as far in school as you possibly could.
JH: Yes, they were but unfortunately, they were not able to send me to school, and opportunities at that time were not as great as they are for blacks going to college. I guess had I really tried hard, I possibly could have gone on on my own and worked. But unfortunately, I got with a group of friends who persuaded me otherwise [Laughs.], so I just worked nominal work at that time.
MB: You think back on friends. Are some of these individuals people that you have kept up with throughout your life?
JH: Most of the friends that I had in Pittsburgh—have passed. Some of them within the past two years. Up until that time, most of them, yes. We kept in contact. They usually came here Derby time for visits, and they had been coming for many years to Louisville. But the last close friend I had died about two years ago. His name was Walter. Walter Smith, I believe. And uh, since that time I have not had any contacts with any of the others in Pittsburgh.
MB: As you move through this job as a life guard, as you said, of course this is a summer job. What were you able to do to support yourself during the winter, during these days?
JH: Uh—I had a job as a life guard up until the, of course, the season closed and then at that time, I think I remember getting a job for Gordon’s Potato Chip factory, frying potato chips at night. And then shortly thereafter in uh—1937, I guess it was, the flood, of course, came. And at that time, I was living in the East End of the city anyway, in the Highlands. So, I was not affected by the flood, but immediately after the flood, I was able to get a job at the Louisville Gas & Electric Company, as a laborer. I worked at the Louisville Gas & Electric Company for approximately seven and half years, from 1937—of course in the meantime, I’m married also [Laughs.], which lasted about three years. I was too young to really know how to treat a wife. It was my fault, not the wife’s fault, that the marriage did not work out, but it didn’t, unfortunately. So I worked at the Gas & Electric Company until 1944. I started as a laborer, I guess, for approximately six months and then I became an apprentice lineman. And I did work as a lineman for four years. Then I was promoted to foreman. I remained foreman for approximately three and half years. There was a short interval prior to forty-four when I went into the service. I volunteered. Young fellow working out there who since has deceased, but a very good friend, Clarence Anderson. The two of us volunteered, and we joined the Seabees, joined the Navy, and they put us in the Seabees, and there I stayed in the Seabees until, I think it was approximately November of forty-three. Then I came out of the service and went back to work at the Louisville Gas & Electric Company until, I guess the middle of forty-four. At that time, I decided that I wanted to go in business for myself, so I went in the dry-cleaning business, resigned from the Louisville Gas & Electric Company and went into the dry-cleaning business. I remained in the dry-cleaning business for approximately six years until 1950. At that time, then, the newly elected sheriff of Jefferson County, Mr. Bernard Backs uh—sort of, I guess, persuaded me to [Laughs.]—and I wanted to get out of the cleaning business anyway—so, he sort of persuaded me to join him in the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff. However, that was something that I didn’t like too well. I didn’t like carrying a pistol or a badge, either one. So, I think I remained in that office for approximately a year, maybe. And at that time, I resigned and took a job as liquor salesman for Jefferson Distributing Company.
MB: Now we’re into the late forties at this point.
JH: No, we’re in the early fifties, at this point, yes. Because I went into the Sheriff’s Office in the early fifties. He took office—he was elected in November of forty-nine—he took office approximately January of fifty, so I stayed there until approximately of the latter part of fifty, or the early part of fifty-one, then I took a job as liquor salesman. And I think I remained a liquor salesman for approximately a year when I was offered a job as Falls City beer salesman, or a salesman for Falls City Brewery. At that time, I think many companies were finding it—
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MB: Falls City, you were starting as a salesman for them.
JH: Yes. I think they found that it was expedient, and they were sort of at number three in this market at that time, so they thought it expedient to hire black salesman, along with their other salesman, and they offered me the job, which I accepted. I remained with Falls City Brewery until October of 1954. Mr. Snyder, David Snyder, at that time was operating what was known as Dave’s Palm Room, which was located at 13th and Magazine Streets. And because of ill health, he decided he, it would be better to dispose of the business there, so consequently he offered it to me to purchase, and I bought it. That was in October of 1954. So I’ve been in the bar business ever since.
MB: Have you always been at this—
[Tape shuts off, turns back on]
MB: I was going to ask you if you ever had any other, how you came to lose, to move from that location. (?) You were at 13th and Magazine.
JH: Now, you want to ask a question now, okay.
[Tape shuts off, turns back on]
MB: So, you bought this location, Dave’s Palm Room, at 13th and Magazine, was it, in 1954. How long did you stay at this location?
JH: We stayed at this location for approximately thirteen years. From 1954 until July of 1967.
MB: Was this in any of the renewal areas?
JH: We were located in the urban renewal area, and most of the area had been cleared out, but due to the fact that we were having a difficult time finding a location, a suitable location, they were very kind. In fact, they, kind enough to let me remain at that location about two years beyond the time that most of the other places had been cleared out. But then, since I already owned this property here, at this location, unfortunately, we had a problem with the people in the area, here at this particular location where we are now, wanting to give us permission for a rezoning, which we had to rezone and see to C2, it was approximately R7, I think, apartments, and we wanted to rezone it—had to rezone it C2, so after some two years of litigation and courts and so forth, we finally, the Board of ____(?), passed the zoning to C2, changes only from R7 to C2, which gave us permission to build here and move into this location. So we came to this location in July of 1967.
MB: Would you say that you were more fortunate than many of the merchants that were in this urban renewal area? Were they able to relocate?
JH: Yes, fortunately, due to the fact that I had been in the urban renewal, and had been displaced by the urban renewal, which was a federal agency, I qualified for a federal loan, which was SBA—Small Business Administration loan—a direct SBA loan. And I was fortunate enough to obtain the loan and the necessary funds to clear off the property and build this particular building and equipment. So that was basically why I was fortunate enough to be able to relocate when so many of my friends, even that were in business at that time, that were displaced by urban renewal, were not able to relocate their businesses, either because of the lack of funds or not being able to find the proper locations or because they may have been able to get funding, but not enough funding that was necessary. At that time, SBA even made many loans, but they did not set you up that you could really succeed because you were undercapitalized. They did not loan you operating capital at that time, so without operating capital, many of those places that were displaced did not remain in business due to being undercapitalized.
MB:What would you say the long-range effect of this was on the small black businessman?
JH: Well, it certainly had an effect of eliminating many black businesses that were operating at that time, and they’ve, many of them—and most of them are very profitable—at least the operators and owners of the businesses were able to make a living, and a very nice living in their businesses. But as a result, many of them had to, maybe, seek employment elsewhere. A lot of them were able to get employment. Many of them were not. So it was really a disastrous happening for many of the black businesses in the West End.
MB: Are there some lessons here to be learned from this as we maybe, possibly start into new urban renewal-type projects? Or go into an area, say like the Russell area?
JH:: Well, I think the urban renewal involvement in the Russell area is going to be doing, or dealing more with housing, and not with businesses. I think they’re going to possibly be able to acquire some of the land that’s necessary, but I hope, and I’m sure they will not do the same thing that was done in the initial urban renewal: go through and just wholesale, just clear out the whole area and displace everybody at one time, and many people were able to displace, many were not to be replaced in areas that they wanted to be replaced in. So today I think there probably, there will be more planning in the urban renewal projects today. I think that before they displace any people, or any of the people in the area, businesses or whatever, that they will find suitable locations for them, first, and move them to the new locations before they go in and do any of tearing down or clearing of the areas that they hopefully are going to rebuild.
MB: Is the process for citizen input any different from say fifteen, twenty years ago? Do the citizens really have more of a say-so in large projects like this one?
JH: Yes, thank goodness. I think, at that time, the citizens didn’t have anything to say about it. I think the urban renewal was set up, and they decided, This is what we’re going to do, and this is the area we’re going to do it in, and they proceeded to do so. Today, I think the people in the area, the citizens, are consulted first. They have public hearings, and the people are, maybe, questioned in the neighborhood. So as a result of the urban renewal being involved at this time, and of course its not a federal involvement necessarily, but I think that urban renewal is now under the city administration as part of their community development program. So they certainly are being very uh—I guess you can say considerate of the areas in which they’re going and the of the people in those areas that actually consulting the people as to what would be best for the area and how they would like to see it done. So the people certainly have more involvement today than they had fifteen years ago.
MB: Do you see the, some might call it, decentralization or the neighborhoodization of individual areas as a good thing or a binding thing for the communities, say as Butchertown has slowly begun to renew itself, and recently Phoenix Hill. Do you see this type thing happening across the board with neighborhoods that are maybe more integrated now than they have been in the past?
JH: Yes, I certainly do, but maybe I am listed among the many of the few that I have a great deal of confidence that the urban area, that the inner-city, is going to come back again. I think it’s going to be completely revitalized. I think its going to start from the (?) and it’s going to spread all the way across the urban area, West End as well as the South End and the central part of the city, so I certainly think its going to be very good. I can see a lot of good coming out of it. It’s going to be good for the younger people. It’s going to give them something to look forward to, something to get interested in and possibly, hopefully, something to really get involved in. And I think the more involvement of the younger people—because we older people don’t have the energy to do the lay work that’s necessary. So I think the younger people are going to have to be greatly involved in it. Hopefully they will get involved in it because they’re the ones that have the energy and the intelligence too. I don’t think that the younger people’s intelligence should be underestimated. They have a lot of good ideas. I noticed in the paper this morning, I believe, about this fifteen-year-old boy that showed them how to really expand the (?) of the field, and some of the expressways. A fifteen-year-old kid. So this means the younger people, those that are thinking, can really be, I hope, relied upon to take an active part in this.
MB: What would you see as goals for the younger people? Because they have entered a different ballgame, so to speak. I mean, jobs are open to them that have not—all the way across the board—that have not been open to them before.
JH: Hopefully, I would like to see younger people—and this is younger people of all races—really stay in school and get the necessary education that they should have. Not necessarily—because not all people are not college oriented, college material—but those who do not want to go to college, I certainly feel that they should get trained for some kind of vocational training, so that it will train them for a job that they can be gainfully employed in and be a credit to the community, instead of being a discredit to the community.
MB: Do you sense an encouragement among the young people that you come in contact with?
JH: Yes. Five years ago, well I’d say up until two years ago, I sort of felt—sad, I guess would be the word, at the way our young people were going at that time. But I’ve seemingly noticed within the past two years that there seems to be a gradual turning of the younger people. They’re thinking differently, they’re acting differently, they’re dressing differently, their attitudes are changing. So hopefully this is in the right direction, and I think it is, and I think it’s going to be good for the future, for most of the younger people and for the community.
MB: What role do you see the church of the neighborhoods you’re familiar with in playing in the lives of these young people?
JH: That is a ticklish subject that I don’t like to get involved in, the church. The church’s role—of course, we all know what the church’s role is in a community. So I don’t think anyone has to be told what that role is, that the church should play. The other thing that I would like to is that the churches actively and sincerely play the role that they’re set up to play in the community.
MB: What would you consider the most significant event in desegregating Louisville that has happened in the years that you have been here?
JH: The desegregation of Louisville has done many things, some good, some bad. Initially, it hurt some of the black businesses that were geared strictly to the black community. Once we had desegregation, many of those businesses’ customers left the black area and moved out of the community. Thereby, some of the black businesses lost those customers. But, I think that it’s going to make—and is making—for a much better overall racial relationship, an overall better education for all the kids. Segregated education was never equal. They say, you know, Build a facility that is segregated but—
[Phone rings. Tape is turned off, then back on]
JH: Oftentimes, you know, they would tell us that they’re going to be built nice facilities, separate but equal, and that was not true. They were never equal. Education was not equal. But I think that with desegregation, that all of the kids, both black and white, are going to get a much better education, overall, because all of the families are going to be interested in seeing that the teachers, the facilities, that everything is going to be up to par so that they can get a good education, and an equal education. So I guess in that, along that area, desegregation has been very helpful.
MB Let’s move on for a little bit about some of the institutions that you have worked with, that you feel have been vital for the total community. Like, where is your is your involvement been, maybe say with the Urban League or with church groups or just, where have you felt that you wanted to be most involved in total community work? Or has it been something personal that you’ve done, on a one to one basis?
JH: I think, well, I’ve always supported Urban League, and the NAACP, or any of the other organizations that are geared toward the help of black people and black communities. But most of mine, I suppose, has been on a personal basis. I’ve tried to help many people that have come to me for help. I’ve tried to help many people that I have heard that needed—
[Phone rings. Tape turns off, then back on]
JH: Many people that have been brought to my attention that were in need help. If there was any way, or anything I could do to help them, I’ve always tried to do so. And I think most of mine probably— besides being with the all the public organizations, I’ve worked with churches and helping—
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JH: And organizations and churches and many of the organizations where I have been able to have worked with them I have certainly done so. Anytime they call on me, I do anything that I can that they ask me to do. But most of mine has been on a personal level.
MB: I couldn’t help but notice that you have received the Phillip Randolph Award in 1977, and could you tell me about your involvement, politically? Do you do union work, or with just, you know, politically in general—
JH: Well, I work in politics, and I have been in politics since I was an early, or a very young man. I’ve always been a Democrat. And I’ve always done anything—and my sole reason for being in politics is what can I do for my community through politics. So I think, possibly, that I was either taught or learned at a very early age that many of the ways of getting thing—or the main way, maybe—of getting things done for community, for my community or any community, is through political activities. Many people will not take party in politics for one reason or another, especially in the primary. Now, I think that is the most important election of all because this is where you choose the candidate that you want to represent you. So it’s been, it’s always been difficult to get people to come out in the primary, but here in the later years, I think more, especially more black people, are seeing that it is to their best interest to choose the candidate that they would like to see represent them, and to get more involved in politics if they want to get the help that is necessary in the community. So as a result from my political activities, I think we have been able to do a lot of things. And I say we because this hasn’t been just me, it’s been we—a group of us—have worked very hard together in politics, for many years, and our sole purpose was to get as many things done for our community, not only the black community, but for the overall community, that we possibly could. So, and we still are doing the same thing, the same group of us, most of us, are still together and still working hard.
MB: Do you see the grassroots interests improving? I mean, have people, particularly young people—I’m talking across all color lines—are you seeing more interest, as you say, in the primaries?
JH: There is more interest, but there still is a glaring lack of interest for most of the younger people in politics. They still have not gotten as much involved as the group that I work with would like to see them get. We think that the young people have an awful lot to give to politics if they just would, if they would realize how important it is to get involved in politics early in life. And whether you like it or not, if you don’t want to work at it, you can certainly come out and vote. And many of the young people do not even vote. It’s difficult to get many of them to even register. But there is still a lot more interest today than there was two years ago, for instance.
MB: Let’s talk just for a few minutes about real estate. You have told me that you will be going out of the restaurant business, the entertainment business, as of today, and will be dealing with real estate. How do you see real estate, as far as the total community? What paths do you see this taking?
JH: Real estate, up to a short time ago, was not a career that blacks could necessarily make the type of living, or earn the type of income, that they would like to earn, or that they could earn in many other fields, up until a few years ago because you were restricted to the areas in which you could sell real estate. You could only sell, at that time, in the black area, or you could sell in the other areas, but you didn’t have any opportunities to sell in other areas. But now, black real estate agents and brokers can sell at any area. We don’t get the listings in the eastern part of the city, the better listings, like these seventy-five, hundred, hundred and twenty-five, hundred and fifty-five thousand-dollar homes. We rarely ever get those listings, but we certainly can sell them. So it is really getting much better for black real estate agents as a career, and especially in developing. You’re not restricted to what you can develop, or how much you can develop. It’s just what you want to do, and how much you can get financed for.
MB: Do you see any evidence of black, white among the middle class—blacks too, now that desegregation has taken place in the schools—do you see large numbers of parents moving closer to the schools of children be bused to?
JH: Not a large number, no. I don’t think that the busing, that’s what you were speaking of, not desegregation, per say, but—
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MB:MB: White, middle class families moving to what had been predominantly white areas to get their children closer to the schools that they have been assigned to. Do you see this as a problem in sort of draining the black community?
JH: I cannot say, or I have not seen a great deal of flight from the black community by black people into the areas where their children are being bused. They may be some few, but not an awful lot. Of course, I think that we all feel that the answer is not busing, necessarily, but it’s the number of people in the area going to schools in their areas. So, since busing is the only vehicle to accomplish, or half-way accomplish, what they were trying to accomplish at this point, I guess that’s what’s been used, but I don’t think the black people have really, sort of just wholesale moved out of the black area in order to accomplish this.
MB: Well, I was bringing this up, I guess in regard to the city losing people, in general, that would be middle income over the years. We know that it has been losing population for, you know, quite a few years, and you were talking about a revitalization of the inner-city, and I’m just trying to see how you see this in context, things we’re hoping for, for the city, you know.
JH: I think that the people and the middle and the upper-income brackets that have moved to the better, more affluent neighborhoods was due to busing. I think it was due to income. They are earning more than they were in previous years, and they’re able to afford the housing and the lifestyle that they were not able to afford prior years, to this. So, and I think maybe the desegregation may have helped this to a great degree. But I don’t think its because they’re trying to avoid busing, no.
MB: Do you see any possibility that we will get highly involved in redoing older housing in neighborhoods that we’ve just been talking about?
JH: Yes, I certainly do, because there are many people that are now living in the East End of the city, and in the better neighborhoods, are inquiring about homes back in the West End again. We get many calls for homes in the West End, we just don’t have the homes to sell. We need more housing in the West End to accomplish, rather, to accommodate those people who are now inquiring about housing in the West End, and we just don’t have any decent housing to sell them. The people that remain in the West End are staying there. They’re not moving. They’re not leaving. So as a result, the better houses are never vacated and never come up for sale. So I guess the only thing that we can do now is to build new housing in the West End, or remodel some of the older homes and bring them up to a more affluent status.
MB: Well, we’ve been talking about the middle class, but I think we’re all more concerned with the people who certainly don’t have the money to buy the nicer and newer houses. I know Louisville has an abundance of what we call shotgun type houses. And I’ve been told that this is very good housing for low income people, as far as being able to heat the houses and maintain them. Do you see any future in putting people in private, smaller houses, rather than continue with projects, such as Village West?
JH: It would probably be much better to put people into single family residences, rather than in cluttered, project-type housing. They would probably get more pride of property ownership, if they’re buying or if they’re renting. They would probably still have more pride in the house in which they live because it would seem more belonging to them, rather than in this project-type housing. And the more of this type we can get, the better it’s going to be, I think for people and for the community. It’s going to get more community pride, more people pride, and all of this is good for a community.
MB: Do the present homesteading walls cover this type of development of loans to people?
JH: I think that homestead is mostly for sixty-five and older.
MB: The urban homesteading, where they could buy lots for smaller amounts and receive low—maybe I had the wrong title on it.
JH: May be something I’m too familiar with. I’m not too familiar with that type of homesteading, no.
MB: I just know in the past the city, maybe, would sell six houses that they would sell for you for two dollars or something and it would add up to a certain point.
JH: I think, possibly, this is part of the overall community development program that it comes specifically, I guess, under the community, the housing. Yes, the housing part of the community development program. I think this is where urban renewal comes into play—that they’re going to be trying to acquire lots, and maybe either of individual people developing themselves, or maybe a developer will come in and develop the whole area. And then it will be low income housing that they can either purchase, or maybe under a Section 8 program, that have rent subsidy. But this will all be geared to the low-income.
MB: What are some other areas that you would like to see more attention given to, here in the community?
JH: I guess the two main things that we always get back to, regardless of the other things, is decent housing and jobs. I think if we get jobs, we can afford decent housing. And if we get decent housing, then the overall community is going to be better off for making progress in racial relations, in community relations. In the younger people coming up today, I think it’s going to give them more pride in their neighborhoods. It may have an incentive to make them want to go to school and get an education, or at least go to a vocational school and get a trade. But mainly, we need the two basic things: jobs and decent housing.
MB: I have many connections in the educational community, and I know many people are discouraged because young people all the way across the board are not, just interested in education, it seems to be. We’ve turned them off, or they’ve turned themselves off, and we’ve got a paradox here. We’ve got many new fields opening up, and yet we’re not getting people prepared for it.
JH: Well I think that—I was reading an article in the paper, or maybe it was on the news, that I think across the country, the overall unemployment is six percent. Yet here in Kentucky, for instance for Louisville, I think we’re maybe thirty, thirty-three percent, especially in the black communities. And industry are begging for people to take jobs, they’re looking for people to work. Yet they can’t find people that are qualified or trained to do the jobs. So as a result, I don’t know who’s at fault, but people certainly are not being trained at this point to do the jobs that will fill the job force, that even industry is asking for and needing. So maybe somewhere along the line, I guess, when it’s finalized, supposedly the homes should be the first to encourage their children to get the education or training for some type of job. Then the schools, of course, can come in and do their part. And the community, I guess, has to do its part to encourage the children and the young people to try to prepare themselves for the job market.
MB: Mr. Hammond, I feel we’ve only really scratched the surface here. You are a modest man, and I’m afraid you haven’t shared with me some of the things that I really would like to know, honors that you have received and things that you have done. I just, as we go into closing, are there just any random things that you would like to add to this?
JH: No, I just hope that somewhere in my lifetime, I will see the younger people take the interest. I would like to see those in education and industry get together and put forth or put together, some type of program that will make the younger people want to prepare themselves, give them the incentive to do this. I guess it’s going to take the parents involved, and they’ve got to be probably greatly involved—a greater involvement than anyone else—to sort of prepare their children to recognize opportunities that are here, if they would just take advantage of them. So those are the things that—I guess the only things—that I’m really looking forward to and would like to see happen. I’d like to see more black people get better jobs, more jobs, better housing. But I know that we are going to have to do a lot of it ourselves. We just cannot wait for someone to give it to us. We’re going to have to sort of make way for ourselves and do part of the developing ourselves. I would certainly like to see more black people get into development, to be able to get into the mainstream of business. Or hear to for many black people have never been even asked to get involved into the mainstream of business. They build projects, people in the financial field, the heads of government, the heads of industries, they get together and knock out plans for what is to be done in the city, but no black people are ever consulted about it. They make their plans, they decide what they’re going to do, and then they come out and say, Now this is what we’re planning, this is what we’re going to do, and this is what we expect of you. But we’ve never been in the policy-making level or in the planning stage. And this is what I think that we’re going to have to recognize, that black people are going to have to be consulted and taken into these meetings and be able to give them some idea of what the black community would expect. I cannot expect you as a white to know what I need as a black, yet this is the way it has been down through the years that they will say, Well, this is what’s good for the community and this is what’s good for your community. They cannot possibly know what’s good for my community and there’s some of us are involved in telling them what our community needs. So these are some of the things I’d like to see happen.
MB: Well I certainly do appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today and if at any time that any time that you would like to add to the tape [Both Laugh.] or there any other individuals that you feel we should keep these, we are hoping that these will be available for young people to listen to as well as be used in presentations to show, you know, the total black community. Please give us a call and let us know. We’d be glad to work with you again.
JH: Thank you.
[END OF INTERVIEW.]