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For those old enough to remember...

Posted on 07/06/2012 8:21:02 AM PDT by MNDude

I am curious, how were race relations before LBJ's great society? Would you have walked, relatively safe, down the streets of Harlem back in 1960?

TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: greatsociety; lbj; vanity
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To: bunkerhill7
It was safe [and extremely friendly people] as you can be except at night - you should go in a group.


By 1969 the Black Panthers had started to raise awareness of Black Pride in these neighborhoods. I will always remember the day that I was stopped at a traffic light, car window rolled down, and a black middle-school-age kid came right up to the car and yelled "honky, honky, honky", to my face. My reaction was to laugh! When I recall that incident I wonder what that kid thought of my response.

41 posted on 07/06/2012 11:23:26 AM PDT by maica
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To: MNDude

I grew up in a town called Magnolia, NJ and graduated High School in 1962. When I turned 16 between my sophmore and junior year I began working as a caddy at Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, NJ which was 5 miles away. I either hitched a ride or had to walk along Evesham Ave to get back and forth since I couldn’t drive yet. Between the two points I had to pass through Lawnside, NJ. Let me tell you it was the mecca for all the Phila and NJ blacks to come for BBQ, drinking, dancing and party. Boy did it smell good with all the chicken and ribs. I walked through there and was never threatened in the least. Several times I was offered food or a soda. There were at least 2,000 people there at any time over the weekend and it was all good. It was very different back then.

LBJ changed all that. Lawnside has since shut down the picnic grounds and the bars, etc. It is pretty much poverty there now. Nothing is the same.

42 posted on 07/06/2012 11:25:57 AM PDT by New Jersey Realist (America: home of the free because of the brave)
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To: MNDude
In the 1920s, Harlem was one of the nicest neighborhoods in the world. Only took a few decades for it to go downhill but once it did, it became the template for the liberal idea of spread the misery rather than fix the problem. If it wasn't for the gubmint trough I think Harlemites would have fixed it themselves.
43 posted on 07/06/2012 11:34:50 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: MNDude
I joined the USAF in Oct, 1962

Coming from the "Whitest" State (Vermont) in the Union, I had little if any interaction with Blacks (what they were called back then) and did not have a racist bone in my body as was the case with most Vermonters.

My HS, albeit small (maybe 200 students) had one black student and the town I grew up (some 7,000) had one black family.

Thus when I got to basic at Lackland, I was shocked at the undercurrent of racism, though nothing overt or any real problems.

THEN, I got stationed (after tech school) to Tachikawa AFB, Japan and things got really "interesting."

Though there were some blacks who I worked and lived with in the same (Quonset Hut) barracks and though there was no obvious problems, when not working, we each went our separate ways.

"They" had their own gate they went out of with "their" bars, restaurants, laundry's and "ladies" they frequented and mostly hung around together; we "Caucasians" had our own as well and no one made a big deal about it and after a while, we simply took it for granted.

After returning from Nam in 67, all hell had broken loose.

I got stationed at Bergstrom AFB (Austin) Tx and from there to DC in 68 for 6 months to attend OSI (Office of Special Investigation) School.

We were "encouraged" to not venture "Downtown" and even the Washington Police patroled in pairs with many having a big dog in their cars.

Later on got stationed at McGuire AFB in N.J. and then (living close to Philadelphia and occasionally going there to visit) is when I first was exposed to Black on White racism and palapable dislike, at times, bodering on "hatred."

Think conditions mostly improved for a while, but seem to have gotten worse again as when vacationing in Florida this past Winter, I did make a consicous decision to avoid certain sections of Tampa as they were not considered "Safe." Don't know about the rest of the country, but from what I read, there appears to be a lot of attacks by African Americans on whites which are unprovoked and much more prevalent than the opposite.

44 posted on 07/06/2012 11:45:00 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet
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To: SoCal Pubbie
Large numbers of blacks did not come to Southern California until the war. It was jobs that brought them. The area around the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles was still white until the end of the war.(about 35th street if I remember)

The laws against interacial marriage was statewide as were the restrictive covenant laws.

45 posted on 07/06/2012 12:21:33 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: nascarnation
"before the Great Society"

Wasn't that a HUGE success?"

Grace Slick was one hell of a singer, but the band didn't do so well.

46 posted on 07/06/2012 12:22:41 PM PDT by HangThemHigh (Entropy's not what it used to be.)
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To: MNDude

I don’t know about up north but in Atlanta, 1960s, I roamed all over the city at night as a teenager. This, however, was before Maynard Jackson was elected.

Today, I doubt I’d drive through Atlanta off an expressway, even with my truck-stashed 45 and beaucoup mags, unless I absolutely had to go somewhere there..

47 posted on 07/06/2012 12:30:14 PM PDT by Gaffer (NOVEMBER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: MNDude

I posted this article by Dr. Manning two years ago - more relevant now than ever. Just to get an idea of how different it was, look at pictures of the people marching with Dr. Martin Luther King - they were elegant. He would not recognize ‘his’ people today.

48 posted on 07/06/2012 12:31:27 PM PDT by oldmomster
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To: LibWhacker
"I'm a native New Yorker, white, born in '48 and, no, it was not relatively safe back then. I remember reading about white people, usually tourists, getting lost on the subway, straying into Harlem and getting raped, robbed, severely beaten, killed. It happened all the time but it wasn't as bad as it's been in more recent years. Democrats have made it much worse with their race-card politics. But the racial hatreds have always been there."

I wandered into Harlem in my car while visiting NY in the early '70's. Luckily, there was almost nobody on the street, but I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Scariest place I've been.

49 posted on 07/06/2012 12:35:37 PM PDT by HangThemHigh (Entropy's not what it used to be.)
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To: MNDude
Start by reading this wikiepedia entry, The Great Migration. Then read the companion links at the bottom, the Second Great Migration, and then the final New Great Migration.


50 posted on 07/06/2012 12:36:30 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you can vote for President, then your children can run for President.)
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To: Nea Wood

My mother’s family moved to Chicago from the South circa 1955; she came to Chicago for the first time that fall when she was on leave. Her family was living out on the west side, which was still predominantly working-class white then, but change was on the move.

The two things her parents quickly told her:

1.) The parks weren’t safe, especially Garfield Park. It was big, beautiful and tempting, but it wasn’t safe.

2.) The black neighborhood of the near west side (the old Maxwell Street/Near West Side) was slowly but steadily spreading west at about 3-4 blocks per summer. When she came to town the “color line” was at California Avenue (2800 west); from there west to Kedzie Avenue (3200 west) was a sort of no-mans land. Her parents told her that if she was on a CTA bus on Madison or Washington that broke down east of Kedzie, not to get off for ANYTHING until the replacement bus showed up.

When her parent’s neighborhood began to change (around 1961-2) things unraveled quickly. Street crime, noisy neighbors, vandalism, harassment etc. all shot up like a rocket. The owner of the upscale Graemere residence hotel overlooking Garfield Park was literally chased out of the park by a mob of black youths in the summer of 1962; he sold the hotel that fall. People felt threatened and got out of Dodge as fast as they could. A friend who grew up a few blocks west and south of there remembered much the same sequence of events; his area flipped within the summer of 1965.

51 posted on 07/06/2012 12:40:35 PM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: cuban leaf

“including the hate, are worse today then back then.”

I totally agree with that.

52 posted on 07/06/2012 12:43:35 PM PDT by CodeToad (uired to vote for a treaty.)
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To: kabumpo
Well that flaw was corrected; but not because of LBJ. This is the best, most just nation on the earth.
We are not perfect; but do fix problems that exist. But not through a heavy handed government.
53 posted on 07/06/2012 12:47:20 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland ("The writing is on the wall - Unions are screwed. reformist2 10:04 PM #27")
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To: cripplecreek

The saying down south in the 1970 was “up North they like them as a race but hate as individuals, Down South they like them as individuals but hate them as a race.”

54 posted on 07/06/2012 12:48:53 PM PDT by wordsofearnest (Proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs it. C.S. Lewis)
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To: M1903A1

A further father attended Illinois Institute of Technology in the early 1950s. IIT then consisted of two buildings surrounded by the Oakland neighborhood, which had been middle-upper class at the time IIT opened as the Armour Institute, but had since degraded into the heart of the south side “Black Belt”. His take was that he felt safe on campus, but it wasn’t a good idea to go wandering more than a block or two away from it. There was a large apartment complex (the Mecca Flats) nearby that was a known haven for drugs, prostitution and other problem types; everybody stayed well clear of it.

He also recalled that there was a remote entrance to the 35th Street “L” station from 33rd Street, employing a poorly-lit walkway that ran below the “L” structure at about the level of the garage rooftops or back porches. He said that, to use it safely after dark, you waited outside the entrance for several others to come along and then you all went over as a group, or you had to RUN the length of the walkway and watch for the hands that reached out from the rooftops to trip you.

55 posted on 07/06/2012 12:50:05 PM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: Former Proud Canadian
...pre 1967 you felt very safe in Detroit...

Summer 1967 was the "long hot summer of discontent". It seemed like every major city in the US had race riots. I have to believe that all that anger had been simmering for a long time as a build up to the boil over that year. I can't speak to the streets of Harlem but I was attending college '63 to '67 in downtown Milwaukee and never felt threatened. As a student I used city buses or walked wherever I needed to go for three years before I acquired a car and moved to a southeastern suburb of MKE.


56 posted on 07/06/2012 12:56:10 PM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: wordsofearnest

Interesting video by Charlie LeDuff in Detroit on discovering his black roots and learning about racism his family faced in Detroit in the 20s and 30s. Obviously he’s not “black” in any noticeable sense (He’s creole like General Honore)

In fact, gun control in Michigan grew out of a 1925 case where a black doctor (Ossian Sweet) defended himself against an angry mob who were mad that a black man would move into their neighborhood. It led to a push for laws that made it virtually impossible for blacks to own guns in Michigan. (It should be pointed out that a white jury acquitted him)

57 posted on 07/06/2012 1:28:42 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: CodeToad; All

I used to go to the Federal Theatre often as a boy...the neighborhood was great back then (mid-60s)...I remember it well

58 posted on 07/06/2012 1:45:43 PM PDT by notdownwidems (Vote Republican! We're 1/10 of 1% better than the other guys!)
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To: Conservative Vermont Vet

It was pretty much the same at Clark AB in the Philippines in the early 60s. Blacks and whites in my squadron got along very well, but when we went into Angeles City, the black guys got off the jeepneys in “their” area and we kept on going to the white area. White troops could only go into the black bars accompanied by a black buddy, and ditto in the white area. There were no racial issues on the base at that time.

59 posted on 07/06/2012 2:45:30 PM PDT by Ax
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To: MNDude
"Would you have walked, relatively safe, down the streets of Harlem back in 1960? "

Absolutely...In fact, in the late 50's, occasionally fell asleep there (after drinking too much while recovering from all those years in the Corps) with the top down on my 1955 Chev convert...

Have to remember, in NY & New England there was freedom of personal opinion (now referred to as "bigotry") all over the place that encompassed:

However, the ugly head of racial hatred as an election tool had not yet been fully and effectively implemented by the leftist politicians.
60 posted on 07/06/2012 3:13:21 PM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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