Citizens Interracial Committee
Formed in 1963 because of increasing racial tension, the Citizens Interracial Committee (CIC) sought to create community dialogues and educate people about racial issues and concerns within city limits. In 1964, the CIC became an official non-profit organization and received city funding. Initially, the CIC consisted of a director (Carroll Waymon), a secretary, a consultant and a clerk. Over the next several years the city increased CIC funding, allowing the agency to expand to include other employees and services.
Under the directorship of Carroll Waymon, the organization responded to complaints, generated reports on racial issues and incidents (such as the Mountain View Park disturbance), created community dialogue through meetings, events, and a news column in The Voice, and sent out speakers and educational materials to educate the public about racial tension in San Diego. Because of city funding, the CIC's activities primarily targeted the metropolitan area.
The County saw a need for a similar agency, and in 1969, the County decided to partner with the City in order to create a county-wide Human Relations Commission, which would phase out the CIC. Many believed the City's decision to end CIC funding had more to do with CIC criticism of the City than the creation of a larger commission, and a community backlash against the City's decision ensued. Despite these efforts, the CIC eventually disbanded on December 31, 1969.
The following 27 persons were members of the CIC Board of Trustees from 1968-1969:
- President: Mrs. Donna Salk (Jonas Salk's first wife)
- Vice President: Dr. Martin Chamberlain
- Vice President: Mr. Enrico Bueno
- Secretary: Mr. Winfield Johnson
- Treasurer: Mr. Warren Currier, III
- Mrs. Kirk Abbey
- Mr. Esquiel Campos
- Father Leo L. Davis
- Mr. Carl M. Esenoff
- Rev. John S. Everett
- Captain H.A. Gerdes
- Rabbi Joel S. Goor
- Mr. Sherwood R. Gordon
- Mr. Henry E. Jackson
- Mr. Tom Johnson
- Dr. James Kleckner
- Capt. William Kolender
- Mr. Carlos LeGerrette
- Dr. William MacInnes
- Dr. Ernest O'Byrne
- Mr. R.R. Richardson
- Mr. Ben Rivera
- Mrs. Celia Rodriguez
- Mr. Phil Saenz
- Rev. E. Major Shavers
- Mr. George Stevens
- Mrs. Gloria Vinson
The following 15 persons were CIC staff members from 1968-1969 (click here to view a photo):
- Executive Director: Carrol W. Waymon
- Public Education Specialist: Rosemary Layng
- Community Liaison & Development Consultant: Jose V. Becerra
- Employment Project Development Consultant: Alfonso R. Caudillo
- Research and Program Development Consultant: Frank Kastelic
- Community Development Consultant: Oscar C. Jackson, Jr.
- Youth & Student Affairs Consultant: Jimmie Estrada
- Public Information Officer: Susie Kastelic
- Clerical Supervisor: Maria I. Erickson
- Marilee Rudolph
- Julie J. Rocha
- Melbalen Black
- Faye Johnson
- Tina Ford
- Leonard George
Any or all of the above persons may (or may not) have participated in the community dialogue meetings, whose tapes are presented below.
One of CIC's primary activities was to hold massive biweekly meetings called "community dialogues" to discuss broad issues such as racism, police sensitivity, education, and employment discrimination within the city of San Diego. The number of attendees at any given meeting was usually quite high—perhaps as many as 30 or more persons—representing an extremely wide variety of backgrounds, including city officials, educators, administrators, religious leaders, law enforcement, journalists, and minority community spokespersons. The meetings were moderated by CIC Executive Director Carroll Waymon, and his voice is often the first one heard in the audio recordings of the meetings.
The sound files presented below represent nearly 2 years' worth of CIC community dialogue meetings, from August 1967 to June 1969. They were digitized from the original reel-to-reel tapes, and total approximately 100 hours of footage. These recordings offer a virtual front row seat into the workings of a major metropolitan city engaging in discussions of race relations on an unprecedented scale. Of particular note is the meeting recorded the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Reel #12-1).
Currently, there is only minimal information available for each tape. If you can provide more information on the content or context of these tapes, or wish to provide partial or complete tape transcripts, please email us at email@example.com.
The following 42 recordings are available (note that dates may not be 100% accurate). Scroll down to listen, or click on a specific recording:
- August 18, 1967 (Reel #22-1)
- September 1, 1967 (Reel #22-2)
- September 15, 1967 (Reel #06-1)
- September 29, 1967 (Reel #06-2)
- October 13, 1967 (Reel #07-1)
- October 27, 1967 (Reel #07-2)
- November 10, 1967 (Reel #08-1)
- December 1, 1967 (Reel #08-2)
- December 15, 1967 (Reel #09-1)
- January 12, 1968 (Reel #09-2)
- January 26, 1968 (Reel #10-1)
- February 9, 1968 (Reel #11-1)
- February 14, 1968 (Reel #01-1)
- February 23, 1968 (Reel #10-2)
- March 8, 1968 (Reel #11-2)
- April 5, 1968 (Reel #12-1): the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr
- April 19, 1968 (Reel #12-2)
- May 3, 1968 (Reel #13-1)
- May 17, 1968 (Reel #13-2)
- June 7, 1968 (Reel #14-1)
- June 21, 1968 (Reel #14-2)
- July 12, 1968 (Reel #15-1)
- July 26, 1968 (Reel #16-2)
- August 2, 1968 (Reel #16-1)
- September 6, 1968 (Reel #17-1)
- September 20, 1968 (Reel #17-2)
- October 4, 1968 (Reel #18-1)
- October 18, 1968 (Reel #18-2)
- November 1, 1968 (Reel #02-2)
- December 6, 1968 (Reel #03-2)
- December 20, 1968 (Reel #03-1)
- January 10, 1969 (Reel #04-1)
- January 31, 1969 (Reel #04-2)
- February 14, 1969 (Reel #02-1)
- February 28, 1969 (Reel #21-1)
- March 14, 1969 (Reel #21-2)
- March 28, 1969 (Reel #05-1)
- April 11, 1969 (Reel #05-2)
- May 9, 1969 - part 1? (Reel #20-1)
- May 9, 1969 - part 2? (Reel #20-2)
- June 6, 1969 (Reel #19-1)
- No date (Reel #11-3)
August 18, 1967 (Reel #22-1):
Total running time: 0:42:12.
This tape is a recording of one of the numerous CIC dialogue sessions with community groups and city officials. This particular session included representatives the city attorney's office, the Urban League, San Diego City Schools, the Union-Tribune, various churches, the police department, city officials, and the mayor.
This recording includes introductions from participants, an overview of the agenda, and a discussion and review of the previous session's meeting minutes, as well as an agreement that certain public officials (the mayor, chief of police, and Councilman Hahn from the Southeast San Diego district) must be present at future meetings. After reviewing these minutes, the group discussed the definition of racism. One participant differentiated between racism and racial discrimination, claiming that San Diego is not racist because racism isn't embedded in its legal structure the way it was in Nazi Germany or South Africa. Other participants concluded that racial discrimination is accepted as normal in San Diego and this issue must be addressed in order to effect change. Mayor Curran also spoke up and stated that semantics makes communication about racial issues complex and difficult. The tape ends in the middle of Mayor Curran's discussion.
September 1, 1967 (Reel #22-2):
Total running time: 2:11:44.
This tape is a recording of one of the numerous CIC dialogue sessions with community groups and city officials. This particular session included representatives from the city attorney's office, the Urban League, San Diego City Schools, the Union-Tribune, various churches, the police department, and city officials. Noticeably absent was Councilman Hahn from the Southeast San Diego district, Mayor Curran, and the chief of police.
This session began with introductions and a discussion of the purposes of the meetings. The group also heatedly discussed the absence of the mayor, chief of police, and Southeast San Diego councilman. Tom Johnson mentioned housing discrimination for African American servicemen and insisted that prejudice is the fundamental issue and that the City must recognize its normalcy in order to change it. Others agreed that the white community needs to accept that San Diego is racist and the mayor should articulate the problem to the public. Several participants stated that the media and city officials need to be more active in changing attitudes instead of waiting for a burst of violence. Another participant discussed the San Diego Mexican-American community's stance.
September 15, 1967 (Reel #06-1):
Total running time: 1:33:12.
This session begins with some discussion over the official minutes and agenda being sent out too late after previous meetings. It is agreed that the audio recording would serve as the official minutes while the notes taken by a stenographer would serve as the official summary of minutes. It is also settled that an agenda with tentative topics of discussion would be sent to members ahead of time, with new subjects first being introduced, then experts brought in for consultation at a later session.
There was some frustration within the group on account of public officials and Board of Education members being unavailable to attend the bi-monthly meetings, causing their information to be out-of-date. The board was convinced of their importance in these matters by virtue of their individual power to reach out to the community and change attitudes about race relations. It was suggested that since continuity in the group (in regards to who attends and how often), and getting timely information through to the public were both of vital importance, a small group of 4-5 members would break off to discuss what kind of continuity would be required, and continue the discussion at the next board meeting.
There was some discussion over whether the definition of racism discussed in the previous meeting would be held and accepted by all group members, and how best to present their findings to the public. There was some disagreement over what action to take next, as some members felt a strong plan would be needed in order to persuade the public. Other members believed the whole community needed to be on the same page in regards to acknowledging the problem of racial disparity in San Diego before any policy decisions should be made. Many members felt the main problem lay in the fact that the African-American community was already suspicious and frustrated over the slow pace of the legislation process. On the other hand, whites too were suspicious of City Hall, and believed minorities would be granted superior benefits if allowed to pursue legislation that would expand civil rights and economic equality.
September 29, 1967 (Reel #06-2):
Total running time: 2:20:28.
This session began with further discussion over which individuals and organizational representatives would be most valuable in furthering the aims and ideas of the group. It was emphasized several times that members of the Board of Education and Board of Supervisors, of whom too few were in attendance, were desperately needed in order to implement new policy within their respective organizations. Furthermore, the presence of greater numbers of public officials was considered to be crucial by virtue of their extensive connections within the community, and broad capacity to reach out to and persuade the public at large in regards to the necessity and merit of those new policies. It was agreed that the group should be expanded to include members of the Council of Churches and the Central Labor Council, and in addition that all those invited to attend be leading members within their organizations in order to affect significant change.
After some deliberation, the group broached the initial problem of how minorities were perceived within the community, and how this perception affected their ability to find employment, housing and fair representation in San Diego. The group debated that while the press could be useful in providing a healthy medium for discussion in the community, it was at that time largely in the hands of the white majority and used to spread fear and misinformation about minorities, often pitting one side against another in order to maximize readership. This was especially the case for non-white green-card carriers, who were perceived by whites to be cheating “true Americans” out of work, and keeping the minimum wage down by not participating in strikes. The fact that this narrow view of immigrants was so prevalent was of great concern to many members, who saw the consequences to be an increased number of deportations of non-violent people, and the breaking up of families, neighborhoods and businesses which had been established in San Diego for decades. Members agreed that while the blame should lie with those responsible, the first tasks to combat this mode of thought should be to allow minority voices to become more prominent in public discussion, and to educate those in power of the harms of these policies.
Many in the group voiced their frustrations over the slow-pace of the meetings, so to accommodate this request a motion was passed to further discuss what action to take when conflicting views cannot be settled, and to put specific problems and areas of focus onto the agenda two weeks from that point in order to gather all necessary information and experts to find a solution. The group agreed to begin next weeks’ session with discussion over the transit system, and that time for dialogue should be limited so as to allow more time for problem-solving.
October 13, 1967 (Reel #07-1):
Total running time: 2:23:59.
In this session, group members focused on several area and service-based issues within San Diego’s public transportation system. These issues were further complicated by reports that the distribution of newer equipment and routes was racially motivated to benefit the white majority, and by criticisms of racial bias in its hiring policy at the time. It was agreed that the greatest obstacle in this situation was how to balance the concerns of minorities in terms of greater quality of service and availability of opportunity, and the likely costs, political maneuvering, and public persuasion which would be needed to overcome resistance and dissent.
A major point of contention for many San Diegans lay in the fact that most bus drivers and commissioners were white, while most busboys and other jobs of menial skill and low-pay were offered to minorities. African-Americans in particular viewed the hiring qualifications of the time with considerable criticism, and of the major disparity in the number of bus routes and newer equipment in minority neighborhoods than in areas populated by whites. Of the possible solutions generated by the group, one was a comprehensive investigation of hiring procedure at the public transport department. Another was to gently point out conscious or unconscious racially biased behavior where it was discovered, and to ensure a more thorough education on the issues by public figures, who frequently broadcasted damaging misinformation to the public. The group agreed to continue discussing the topic of public transportation at the next meeting.
October 27, 1967 (Reel #07-2):
Total running time: 2:40:40.
The focus of this week’s session was how to implement new ideas about race and equality into the existing public transportation system of San Diego. The group was still mainly concerned with extending opportunity for minorities to allow them to advance to higher-paying and more highly skilled positions within the transport system, with an emphasis on expanding routes and updating equipment for minority neighborhoods. The immediate obstacles to these goals were identified by the group as first, maneuvering among the different factions of the then-current members of the board of directors in order to administer said adjustments, and how to enable minorities and public transport patrons to become a part of high-level decision-making.
The immediate problem voiced by many was that there were no legal means to enforce ideas proposed directly by the group, while others felt it was not their place to be handing out orders, rather suggesting improvements and letting the existing board work out the details for themselves. After debating this issue for some time, group members conceded that it was more practical to flesh out the conclusions they had already reached. Foremost among these was the need for both a minority and a consumer presence on the board that would address concerns from their respective groups. It is agreed that if this method should prove successful, it would be a good model to expand representation in other organizations as well. However, due to a continued lack of participation by city council members, the political muscle of the group was still very weak and cause for concern among group members.
November 10, 1967 (Reel #08-1):
Total running time: 2:53:44.
The meeting of the Citizens Interracial Committee (CIC) convened with introductions all around, including the newly-elected Mayor, Frank Curran, who delivered a brief opening remark. City Council members were not represented on this date, but were expected to be in attendance at subsequent meetings. The topic for discussion was identified by the Committee Chair as the employment practices of the San Diego Transit Company (newly purchased in 1967 by the City of San Diego and established as a non-profit corporation of the City).
One member of the Committee suggested that the group avoid discussing criticisms of specific entities and attacks on local officials, and focus instead on identifying and understanding the differing, underlying perceptions and emotional responses of the majority versus the minority to encourage a more open dialog and thereby facilitate coming up with solutions. Accordingly, a number of perceptions were identified; one member gave as an example, “I have never seen a Negro bus driver, and so I am wondering whether minority people can actually drive a vehicle?” The majority perceived this as a matter of qualifications (Negroes were assumed not to be qualified to drive buses), while the minority clearly saw this as discrimination. Another majority perception was that one did not notice the race of the bus driver at all, while a minority member countered that he would notice if the driver were a Negro.
A representative of San Diego Transit presented a breakdown of employees by race, with Negroes representing only 4% of the Transit Company workforce. However, it was acknowledged that prior to the City taking over, there were no Negro employees. Minority members held that “the system is still the system” and one or two Negro employees are merely “token” employees. Another member added that only militancy and a crisis would create real change in the system. Minority consensus was that change within “the system” was inadequate, and no progress had been made in the visibility of minority employees in the San Diego Transit Company. It was agreed that public agencies should take the lead role in preventing employment patterns that were not representative of the citizens within the City. Everyone felt that this dialog should be continued at the CIC meeting after the next one.
December 1, 1967 (Reel #08-2):
Total running time: 2:30:26.
The Dec. 1st meeting was attended by about 25 members, whose plan was to discuss the Economic Opportunity Commission (EOC) and various sentiments about its’ hiring and status in the community. The group sidetracked to the planning for the 200th Anniversary Celebration of San Diego, and then to an arrest which had recently taken place, resulting in perceptions by Blacks in the City of racial profiling, who subsequently wanted some answers about how and why it was handled as it was by local police. An attempt was made to return to the day’s topic (EOC), but objections were raised due to key public officials not being present for the discussion.
Emotions began to run higher (at about 53:50 in the audiotape) as some members argued that nothing was changing fast enough, that soon the issues would really heat up as schools let out for the summer, and groups of youth would be roaming the hot streets day and night, particularly in southeast San Diego. One San Diego police official spoke up for law enforcement’s belief that changes would inevitably be slow, adding that training and education was the key to facilitating change. Several voices were raised that facilities for youth needed to be built so kids would have somewhere to go, and something to look forward to, as an alternative to roaming the streets and getting into trouble. Once again, there were complaints that nothing could be accomplished without City officials being present, who were in positions of power to support such projects. Another attendee commented that the police needed to educate themselves better about who people are and what’s going on in the communities, instead of targeting Black Nationalists and Black Muslims, who were not the problem, as they were seeking to lift themselves up, adopt higher self-values, and to promote pride in their families and communities.
In the last half of the meeting, the topic shifts back once again to the 200th Anniversary Celebration of San Diego and how to assert the presence of minorities at all levels and in all the stages of planning. It then shifts again to the topic of poor attendance, particularly by certain public officials whose presence was felt to be essential, if any real change was going to take place. Suggestions were made for every member present to take part in bringing pressure to bear on those who should be attending and either had dropped out, or failed to commit at all. Finally, a couple of parting shots were made about the mayor, who chose to go to Mexico City for something he deemed more important than these dialogs, without even sending a representative in his stead. It was also agreed to enlist the Press to publicize what this group (CIC) was working on, the critical importance of these issues, and to bring more pressure to bear on public officials such as the City Attorney, City Council representatives, and County Board of Supervisors to commit to being part of these dialogs. The discussion of the Economic Opportunity Commission was slated to resume at the next meeting of the CIC.
December 15, 1967 (Reel #09-1):
Total running time: 2:37:32.
The December 15th meeting was one that was well-attended, including the Mayor and members of City Council. Also attending were a number of “observers” from the community, who gave personal testimonials and shared perceptions and reactions, particularly concerning employment issues within the “power structure” and also their impressions of the Economic Opportunity Commission (EOC). The general consensus seemed to be that talking was not enough, that the situation was urgent, and required taking action.
Minority clearly expressed their discontent with the lack of progress or actions aimed at improving the employment situation for their communities, stating that other than hiring a few Negro bus drivers, nothing had been done. There were several emotionally charged moments during this meeting (notably at 1:08:39 and 2:01:37) in which minority representatives claimed that placement examinations and selection processes for employing minorities were unfair, specifically, utilizing examinations or qualification sets that were designed by, and in favor of, persons of majority, which were unsuited for use with individuals outside of the mainstream culture. Minority perceptions also clearly included the belief that only bottom-level, “dead-end” jobs were available to minorities, who had no means to advance their status or to be promoted within the systems that employed them. It was asserted that the same inappropriate criteria had been utilized to staff the War on Poverty agency structures, thereby perpetuating the problems that they were created to resolve. The Director of the Leadership Training Program (LTP), one such War on Poverty program, was present at this meeting, and spoke eloquently on the problems inherent in the system. He described the LTP as a program originally designed to educate minority young people to lead their people in advocating for themselves, fighting oppressive practices, and effecting changes in the system. However, the power structure – the majority - was not interested in such an agenda, and the program had to be rewritten as a careers preparation concept in order for it to be accepted by them. He went on to say the War on Poverty isn’t working, because even those Blacks who get such positions don’t go back and help their community, that they begin to think and act like White people.
It was proposed that certain actions be taken, namely, to take a look at our civil service entrance examinations and restructure them to be more relative to the particulars of the job, so they are not just measuring adaptability to the mainstream culture; to establish an Office to review the entire system, to come up with new ways to utilize the resources that minorities have to offer, and to select a Black person to lead the office who knows the real problems inherent in the present system; and finally, to bring pressure to bear on public officials and others who make promises of taking action to be accountable for those promises.
January 12, 1968 (Reel #09-2):
Total running time: 2:49:17.
This meeting had a respectable showing of public officials, including new representation from the Welfare Dept. and the Deputy City Attorney, along with the usual community members and a number of observers. The meeting opened with reports on some actions that had taken place as requested at the previous meeting, in an attempt to hold members accountable for promises made. The first report was by the Chair, who met with Mr. Don Keller, District Attorney, who agreed to go before the Board of Supervisors and request that the top county administrator be appointed to attend these dialogs. The other report detailed a meeting with the Executive Director of the 200th Anniversary Planning Committee, to insure inclusion of minorities at all levels of planning. A meeting with members of the press and television served to open communication about their role in providing good coverage of these meetings.
The majority of this meeting dealt with recent criticisms by public officials of the Economic Opportunity Commission (EOC) including its Leadership Training Program, one agency established as part of the War on Poverty. The group attempted to focus on different perceptions held by the majority and minorities about these criticisms, and about the EOC in general. It was concluded that some perceptions and reactions might have been based on faulty information promulgated by the press, and it was suggested that a meeting be held with the Board of Supervisors to ascertain what feedback they actually intended to convey regarding the EOC. Some felt strongly that the results of fact-finding should be released back to the community, in an attempt to prevent the “hardening” of attitudes created by the earlier press releases.
The Citizens Interracial Committee continued to experience internal dissonance about their role and purpose, specifically, whether or not meeting merely to dialog about various issues was meaningful without engaging in action to resolve those issues.
January 26, 1968 (Reel #10-1):
Total running time: 2:47:25.
This session included an impassioned call to action by a Black Power advocate, whose contention was that talk was cheap, and that if the majority would not join forces to effect change, Blacks would have to take matters into their own hands. The sense of urgency was such that the majority was warned to “make a choice and make it well,” or it would be standing on the “eve of destruction.”
Many agreed that the root problem was racism, and that focusing on any number of symptoms, such as inequitable hiring practices, unemployment, segregation of schools, and so on, was ineffectual and a waste of everyone’s time. Some were very angry about the mayor’s appointment of a Black man to office, without obtaining any input from the community he would represent or serve. Members of the minority seriously questioned the majority’s acceptance of racism as the issue, and also accused them of showing up for these dialogs in mind and body only, having “left their hearts and souls elsewhere.” Several expressed being fed up with the slow, or even total lack of progress of the group, a sentiment mirrored by both Asians (“Oriental”) and Mexican Americans present, who considered their issues to be the same as those faced by Blacks – namely, being treated as second class citizens.
Final statements called for a resolution to be passed by City Council indicating that racial discrimination would not be tolerated in any activities of City government, while another suggested that every public official and every government agency measure any proposed action in terms of whether or not it was a racist action.
February 9, 1968 (Reel #11-1):
Total running time: 2:38:56.
In addition to the regular members, others present at this meeting included the City Manager, Mayor, a County Supervisor, a judge, and two special guests from the President’s Council on Youth, who were sent from Washington to serve as consultants to the west coast. As attendance grew significantly for these meetings, there were issues with not having enough space for everyone, and it was agreed there would be assigned seating for those who were identified as regular members of this group; leftover seats were made available to the public. It was also suggested that a separate “town hall” meeting be organized to accommodate the growing demand of people wishing to express themselves on the issues of racism.
The agenda included discussion about a report submitted by the City Manager’s Office to City Council, which was intended to summarize or inventory what various offices and agencies were doing to address the issues of racism and discriminatory practices. Criticisms of the report were mainly focused on the exclusion of input from minorities in generating the report, the report’s failure to include what was NOT being done, and failure to acknowledge the problem clearly as “racism,” referring to it instead as an “urban crisis.” Also, complaints were raised about harassment by San Diego police officers of minority youth, who were allegedly picked up on false pretenses to glean information from them about local Black Muslim and Black Nationalist individuals and their activities. Other complaints included “constant” harassment of “Green Carders” (Mexican immigrants) by the District Attorney’s office, racially discriminatory treatment by police when dealing with drunk drivers, and the lack of promotion of minority police officers to supervisory positions (sergeants, lieutenants, and so on) within the San Diego Police Department.
As in several recent meetings, there remained strong, unresolved differences about whether the role of the Citizens’ Interracial Committee was intended solely as a discussion forum, or whether its role was to make things happen.
February 14, 1968 (Reel #01-1):
Total running time: 3:06:24.
Much of this meeting focused on the perceived failure of the media in San Diego to provide equitable and unbiased coverage of the happenings in the Black and Mexican American communities, such as the displacement of 14 Mexican families in La Jolla, after their homes were bulldozed. Newspapers made no mention of the story. Representatives from the Mexican American community specifically addressed concerns about advertising practices that stereotype minorities and demonstrate insensitivity, and asked for the support of the CIC in backing their actions to make a presentation to and dialog with the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and the Public Relations Society of America.
In addition to complaints of the insensitivity of the press, some attributed the problem to a total lack of minority reporters to represent their communities. Media, and particularly the San Diego Tribune, generally claimed to have had little success in recruiting minority journalists, in spite of efforts to provide scholarships to attract more students of journalism, due to local colleges not selecting persons of minority as recipients of these funds. It was suggested that scholarships only be made available to schools with equal representation of minority students in their programs, and also to keep the funding in the local colleges, as opposed to funding students in the far cities of New York, Detroit, Chicago and Washington.
The popular General Victor Krulack made an appearance at the meeting, offering to lend his considerable influence by addressing his colleagues with the local newspapers.
Finally, it was resolved to follow through with people who had made offers to assist, and to report on those actions at the next meeting.
February 23, 1968 (Reel #10-2):
Total running time: 2:25:38.
The top agenda item for this meeting was the consideration of establishing an office to address concerns about racism and discrimination within the City and effect positive change in the existing system. The City Attorney addressed this issue by stating that the contract between the City and this Citizens’ Interracial Committee (CIC) expressly placed that responsibility on the CIC itself, and that creating another office for that purpose was unnecessary. While it was generally agreed that the CIC accepted its role in researching and recommending actions to uphold the City’s existing anti-discrimination policy, questions remained about the implementation of actions proposed. Some felt the City had failed to follow through with proposed actions already presented by the CIC. Others were somewhat defensive, taking the stance that it was a gradual process, and that progress was already underway. The discussion proceeded in the general direction of pushing the City to move and respond to proposed actions, particularly in the area of hiring more people of minority. As City officials began to defend their position on hiring, minority leaders objected and the debate heated up briefly (at 1:48 on the audiotape).
The question was raised whether it was safe to express oneself openly at these dialogs, in reaction to the recent, forced resignation of an employee of the Community Welfare Council, due to a remark he had made attacking a City official. The consensus was that the ability to speak freely was essential to the dialog process, and Chairman Carrol Waymon pledged to write to the Executive Director of Welfare, to point out the CIC’s policy of affording its members and other participants the freedom to dialog openly and without fear of sanction or retaliation. The Committee agreed to work on recommendations for assuring open dialog could continue, while preserving the “town meeting” atmosphere.
March 8, 1968 (Reel #11-2):
Total running time: 1:51:09.
[Note 1: The date marked on this tape, 3/8/68, is apparently incorrect, because during the course of the dialog, Chair Waymon made reference to the date of the next meeting being 2/23/68. Note 2: Also, due to the large number of people present, this meeting was held in an auditorium, and parts of the audio recording are not sufficiently audible to catch everything being said by some sitting farther away from the recorder.]
Members of the Mexican American community made presentations about problems they were having in their communities, and voiced concerns that nothing was being done, although they had attended many meetings with school and city officials. Issues included placement of Mexican American children in classes for the mentally retarded, lack of bilingual counselors and others in positions of providing services to them, lack of recreational facilities for teens, areas without street lights, and a lack of representation in matters concerning them and their neighborhoods.
Other agenda items included the proposed resolution regarding a policy of anti-discrimination throughout city government, the need for an implementation plan as part of the policy, and the question of whether a separate city office needed to be organized to handle issues dealing with racism and discrimination. Also, the CIC’s intention of obtaining a review and subsequent reform of the civil service selection and hiring procedures was reported to be still in the talking stage.
Finally, strong remarks were made about the continued lack of attendance at CIC dialogs by top city officials, and the importance of their presence for validating and lending dignity to the meetings, thereby expressing sensitivity to the concerns of the minorities. One gentleman posited that the failure of top officials to attend was, in the words of popular civil rights activist Dick Gregory, “an insult.”
April 5, 1968 (Reel #12-1):
Total running time: 2:42:23.
This tape appears to include two meetings. The first meeting [4/5/68] took place the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. After opening the meeting with a minute of silence, CIC chairman Carroll Waymon read aloud several statements in response to the death of the civil rights leader. Other participants offered their reflections on the significance of the event. Most felt strongly that today’s meeting should be recessed as a day of mourning. [At 19:00, this segment ends abruptly, and the full recording of what appears to be the 4/19/68 meeting begins, as summarized in the second paragraph below.]
The sole agenda item for this meeting [4/19/68] was to consider the value of the CIC dialogs, and a possible vehicle for implementation and action; however, there was a more pressing concern for the day, in response to a 9-point proposal submitted by the NAACP to the CIC on the heels of a massive walk-out by minority members at the meeting that took place on 3/22/68. Minorities threatened to cease all dialog unless their proposal was given full consideration, and actions taken. Coverage of the 9-point statement bogged down, as members of the CIC felt that certain points needed clarification before they could proceed. The talk returned to the original agenda, the value of these dialogs and the direction they should take. A motion was made and passed unanimously, for the CIC to move from its role as a forum for philosophical discussion to that of an “action group,” e.g., the vehicle for implementation that researched and proposed actions to the City Council. A final statement was made by one minority participant, who angrily expressed his frustration with the meeting, and what he felt to be the continued failure of White racists to grant Blacks their freedom.
April 19, 1968 (Reel #12-2):
Total running time: 2:08:36.
The meeting opened with an announcement concerning the Model Cities Program, and members of the CIC were encouraged to submit letters of endorsement to the City Planning Department to accompany San Diego’s application for inclusion in the program. If awarded, San Diego would receive assistance in revitalizing some disadvantaged areas of the city. Chair Waymon also announced a Point Loma Housing Workshop to address issues of racial tensions in that neighborhood. The meeting continued as minority representative Tom Johnson presented a statement of requests for specific actions. A Mexican American spokesman followed with a four-point list. Shortly after, most of the minority members walked out, expressing a demand for action over dialog. The few remaining minority members stated they fully supported those who walked out, but chose to remain either because their job required them to attend, or they stayed to assess the proceedings regarding their itemized requests. Most of the remaining dialog reflected confusion and mixed opinions on the future direction of the CIC, and the need to identify the best way to address the lists of demands presented.
May 3, 1968 (Reel #13-1):
Total running time: 3:05:12.
This audiotape includes two separate meetings, the first being a meeting of the CIC’s Steering Committee, which met briefly to discuss the future role of CIC, and whether it would become the “Coalition” with various task forces selected to carry out specific actions decided by the group. The committee hoped to quickly engage the growing number of citizens who had expressed interest in volunteering their time and talents to the issues of racism and discrimination in San Diego. This meeting ends at 38:00. Following, is the regular meeting of the full CIC. The agenda item is the continued debate around the future direction of CIC. Some city officials were against moving toward an action group, as they felt they couldn’t speak for their various departments and offices; others felt that the original intent of the CIC to serve as a platform for dialog should be preserved; and lastly, many felt frustrated by the lack of action and were no longer content to just talk about the issues. In the middle of this discussion, Chair Waymon stopped to acknowledge a group of distressed women and children who had shown up due to a housing crisis, precipitated by an eviction notice they had received, and various members of the CIC assisted them in resolving their issues with the property manager, who was also present.
May 17, 1968 (Reel #13-2):
Total running time: 2:39:54.
The meeting opened with announcements noting the absence of the Mayor and City Council representatives, and also many members of the Black minority, who had reportedly stayed out on this day in recognition of Malcolm X’s birthday. Topics of discussion included problems with the educational system, most notably its failure to carry out desegregation, but most felt the discussion was meaningless since members of the Board of Education were also out today due to an administrative meeting. Another discussion involved the controversial use of mace by San Diego Police. Chairman Waymon called for a presentation of perceptions by majority and minority members concerning the use of mace. Majority primarily felt that mace was an acceptable – and essentially harmless - form of law enforcement weaponry, while minorities saw the use of mace as constituting a White Racist control mechanism aimed solely at minorities to silence and paralyze them. A contingent of Black participants came in toward the end of this meeting and stated their intentions, which included proclaiming holidays for themselves for both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, taking their freedom as opposed to asking for it, and also expressing that they intended to take their children out of the southeast schools unless immediate steps were taken to appoint Black principals to head the schools within their communities.
June 7, 1968 (Reel #14-1):
Total running time: 3:05:31.
This meeting took place 2 days after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
In a prior meeting, an Interim Committee of the CIC drew up a Bill of Particulars detailing specific concerns with the education of minority students in San Diego. The Bill of Particulars was then presented to the Board of Education for its response. At this meeting, school personnel responded to that Bill, presenting several initiatives and programs being implemented to address those concerns, namely, the quality of instruction, counseling and advising services, discipline, and curriculum content. Mexican American and Oriental spokespersons expressed disappointment that these programs only targeted Black students, and also eschewed the absence of Mexican American school personnel in the administration. School personnel also presented a 5-year longitudinal study nearing completion, which dealt with the drop-out rates of minority students, as a major concern had been expressed about the high drop-out rate of Mexican Americans from Sweetwater District secondary schools. The final report was expected to come out in the next 3 or 4 months, ostensibly offering more insight into why the rate was so high. Finally, the CIC dialogued about upcoming hearings in City Council concerning the fate of the CIC, and whether it was to be replaced by a public Human Relations Commission. Strong sentiments were presented about the pitfalls of becoming a government controlled agency in contrast to its current existence as an independent, non-profit organization.
June 21, 1968 (Reel #14-2):
Total running time: 2:22:23.
This meeting opened with a moment of silence to honor Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated two days prior to this meeting. The agenda topic of the day was education. The School Board and other administrators had been invited, but were not well-represented at the meeting. Some discussion took place in spite of this, and issues raised included poor counseling and advising services to students, the lack of minorities’ histories and cultures in the curriculum, testing biases, discipline, and the underachievement of minorities. Many felt that compensatory education services, like public education itself, served to reinforce white racism in our society, holding the minority student to be inferior, and teaching to and upholding the values of the White majority and its culture.
July 12, 1968 (Reel #15-1):
Total running time: 2:40:41.
The Mayor, City Manager and other key officials were absent from this meeting, which was off-schedule due to the July 4th holiday. Some new folks from the newly formed Chula Vista Human Relations Commission attended. The dialog concerning the schools was continued, with topics ranging from drop-out rates, lack of motivation, the urgent need for Mexican American teachers, staff, and administrators, and the infusion of minority history and culture into the curriculum. The San Diego schools were clearly in the “hot seat,” and were berated for what most perceived as token, inadequate attempts to approach serious problems. The Schools blamed underachievement on parental apathy and poor home environment. Both minority and majority spokespersons accused the School Board of being defensive, failing to take responsibility and to do its job. The PTA and the Title I Advisory Committee were described as essentially being in the schools’ pocket, and parents did not feel either of these organizations was effective in representing their concerns. The Mexican American community organized the Southeast Citizens Ad Hoc Committee on Education, but the school administration was reluctant to get involved or to acknowledge them. The schools were considered to be an urgent matter, and dialog was slated to continue at the next meeting.
July 26, 1968 (Reel #16-2):
Total running time: 2:40:15.
The agenda for this meeting’s dialog was law enforcement, both the City’s Police Department and the County’s Sheriff’s Department. The first topic was the image of the police and sheriff’s departments, based on minority perceptions of them. Police were described as “storm troopers” who were too focused on riot control, who were sadly insensitive of minority communities, and who responded differentially in Black or Mexican versus White neighborhoods. Another key discussion was the demand (from an earlier 9-point presentation by members of the Black community) that there be specific, immediate appointments of Black police officers to positions of sergeant, lieutenant, and investigator. Talk bogged down, as police administrators attributed the lack of promotions to the failure of any Black officers to pass the required tests for promotion. George Stevens, from the Black community, gave a heated, uncompromising rebuff (1:59 on audiotape), based on former admissions that the tests were culturally biased, and therefore failed to excuse the racist passing over of Blacks for promotions. He called for the immediate appointment of Black supervisors. While some were initially put out by George’s outburst, it was soon agreed by many that he had every right to be angry, and that he had also spoken the truth. A committee was formed to approach city officials and the Police Chief, who was not present at this meeting, regarding the appointment of Blacks to supervisory roles as soon as possible.
August 2, 1968 (Reel #16-1):
Total running time: 3:02:11.
The dialog continued regarding education issues and the San Diego Unified School District. A report was presented by the schools regarding the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, which was primarily a demonstration program in the district, designed to identify methods, techniques and materials, and also to increase the involvement of Mexican American parents. Most responses to the presentation reflected that not nearly enough was being done, and eventually embraced the idea that the primary underlying problem of White racism must be targeted, and not just token programs that failed to make a substantial difference in improving education for Mexican American and Mexican immigrant children. The concept of tracking students according to intellectual ability was also attacked; it was argued that intelligence tests (like the Benet Scale) were biased in favor of White majority children, and also that tracking children into remedial or special classes, in effect, socially outcast them from mainstream society, regardless of color. Several teachers, both white and Mexican American, expressed fear of losing their jobs for publicly criticizing the schools; nevertheless, a few spoke out, stating that the school system was failing, and calling for major reform from the School Board.
September 6, 1968 (Reel #17-1):
Total running time: 2:35:49.
Agenda: discussion of police review board.
This meeting opened with a discussion about a drop in attendance, and concerns regarding the value of the dialogs. The Mayor, City Manager, and Chief of Police were not present. Several people, including the Mayor, had expressed that the dialogs had become more like a monolog, with the minorities talking with no response from the majority. Those present generally felt the dialogs to be of value, both to their personal growth and awareness, and as a catalyst for some changes made. The remainder of the meeting dealt with the police department, namely the commitment to promote two Black officers to sergeant, and a more lengthy debate about whether there should be a Police Review board of some sort, where the grievances of citizens could be heard. Judge Lindsley felt a proposal to establish a second Grand Jury for that purpose would be the proper route. Police spokesmen felt there was no need for a Board, since they had an internal grievance procedure. Minorities did not trust that any review by an inside department of the police would be impartial. Finally, a committee of the CIC was appointed to review the question and make recommendations at a subsequent meeting.
September 20, 1968 (Reel #17-2):
Total running time: 2:38:34.
Agenda: sensitivity training for police officers.
This meeting continued the dialog from the preceding one regarding San Diego Police, the need for a Police Review Board of some kind for citizens’ grievances, and for sensitivity training of police officers. No conclusion was reached about the Review board, but the subcommittee was charged with continuing to research the idea and to involve police officials in the discussion. It was revealed that San Diego police officers had not received any training specifically aimed to improve or enhance relationships with minority communities, and the CIC resolved to hold itself accountable to set up sensitivity training for the police.
Black activist Kenny Denman gave a speech in response to the likely dismissal of Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Party leader, from the University of California at Berkeley, and subsequent derogatory remarks in the media about the man. Along with California Governor Reagan, San Diego’s own Mayor Curran had also denigrated Mr. Cleaver in the press. Mr. Denman protested the lack of any Black voice in the media to counter the attack; he also wished to inform the public that the Black Panthers were no threat to the White community, that they weren’t anti-White, they were just pro-Black. His speech was well received, as evidenced by enthusiastic applause (2:17:09).
San Diego’s District Attorney had proposed an Ordinance preventing anyone charged with a felony, while engaged in any activity related to the civil rights movement, from being eligible for City or Civil Service employment. This proposed ordinance was felt to be racist, leveled against Blacks to ‘keep them in their place.’ Mr. George Stevens spoke angrily (2:23:30), charging White racists with making it ‘very hard for a Black man to do right,’ and actually pushing more and more Blacks to join the Black Panthers as they come to realize that the White man is not interested in integration, or in giving the Black man justice.
The CIC resolved to use its influence with the media to allow Kenny Denman to tell ‘the other side of the story.’
October 4, 1968 (Reel #18-1):
Total running time: 2:12:39.
The CIC continued its discussion of a Police Review Board, as everyone could agree that police relations in the minority communities was an urgent issue. Stories were shared of Black men and adolescents being harassed and beaten down in the streets, and some voiced fear that a violent uprising would be imminent if this issue was ignored much longer. The subcommittee appointed to work on the structure of such a Review Board had not brought to the table any solid solution, but were charged with continuing to work on one. Some members, such as Judge Lindsley, felt that the subcommittee should have free reign to discuss options that would be broader in scope, such as a grievance board that would serve to hear any complaints brought regarding any City office or department. Others wanted a speedy resolution in the form of a proposal for a Police Review Board only. City Attorney Ed Butler suggested such a Board might be, in fact, illegal according to San Diego’s City Charter. The remainder of the meeting concerned announcements and a few short discussions on recent events, news reports, and priority-setting for upcoming education and housing agenda items.
October 18, 1968 (Reel #18-2):
Total running time: 2:41:49.
A sub-committee of the CIC proposed a structure for a Citizens’ Advisory Board, to hear complaints against police and any and all other city departments or agencies, to request investigations, and then to make recommendations. It was then agreed that another executive sub-committee would be appointed to undertake the implementation of the proposed Advisory Board.
The second half of the meeting was devoted to the urgent issues in the area of housing, particularly in poor neighborhoods, where many attested to drastic rent increases, poor conditions, and evictions, with those displaced facing critical housing shortages. Hardest hit were families with several children, and welfare assistance was barely sufficient to cover rent, leaving very little for food, clothing, and other necessities. The Director of Welfare, southeast San Diego property owners, tenants, and the Chairman of the Urban Coalition’s Housing Task Force all contributed to an analysis of the problems faced by all concerned, and while several suggestions were made, there were no ready answers. The housing issues were to be taken up again in the next CIC meeting.
November 1, 1968 (Reel #02-2):
Total running time: 2:40:41.
The CIC continued its discussion about housing issues in San Diego and spent about half this meeting brainstorming possible short and long term solutions. Those with welfare assistance were among the hardest hit, as welfare supplements failed to keep up with the increasing rents. Suggestions ranged from temporary housing in military quarters to the development of city property for trailer parks. Due to legal questions, it was decided that this issue was beyond the scope of CIC, and that the TORCH organization would work with the Housing Authority to resolve the housing crisis.
The City Manager issued a statement that was read concerning the City’s so-called commitment to promote two Black officers to Sergeant, clarifying that there was no such commitment, as the City was not willing to forego the civil service process of promotion by examination. In an angry reaction to this statement, activist George Stevens stated that there would now be a “reward notice” posted in the Black community, that a ‘contract’ would be taken out on any white cop that molests a Black kid. (2:35) Judge Lindsley attempted to warn George Stevens that posting such a statement would make him a conspirator in any subsequent crime related to the notice.
December 6, 1968 (Reel #03-2):
Total running time: 0:22:07.
[Note: This audiotape appears to capture only part of a meeting, as it begins and ends abruptly, and is only 22 minutes long.]
The dialog concerning education and specific problems in the schools continued, along with the Deputy Superintendent of Schools and other educators. The problems discussed included the high drop-out rates among Mexican Americans, sensitivity to minority students’ cultures, counseling services, and the practice of suspending students. It was agreed there was a need for a full-time counselor or student advocate to whom minority students could relate, and could approach with their problems or concerns. Also, a suggestion was made to invite students to one of the dialogs so they could express their feelings and perceptions, too.
December 20, 1968 (Reel #03-1):
Total running time: 2:37:55.
This meeting was another continuance of discussions about education. Dr. Hall, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, was present to hear concerns and to answer questions. He explained several special programs underway at schools in depressed areas of the city, which were initiated as a result of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, to assist those students with the greatest needs. Some were appreciative of the efforts being made, while others warned that the schools were not making changes nearly fast enough to offset the growing unrest and organizing of discontented students (such as United Students for Better Education) nor to stem the tide of rioting and violence. It was asserted that students felt they had no impact on their environment, and were therefore losing interest or rebelling. Minorities also contended that not enough minority staff had been hired within the structure to provide students with people who identified with them and understood their needs, and further, that minority staff should be the ones to revise the curriculum to include the histories, contributions, and culture of minority people.
January 10, 1969 (Reel #04-1):
Total running time: 2:23:29.
Dr. George Hall, Deputy Superintendent of San Diego Schools, delivered a statement to the CIC listing steps the schools had taken in response to the dialogs, but made a controversial request that he not be questioned about any point in the statement. Common responses to his statement acknowledged that some steps had been taken, but not enough had been done and things were not moving quickly enough to stem a potential uprising by citizens, and particularly youth, in the minority communities. Two people commented that only through insurrection and rioting would any real change come about, and one suggested that the upcoming 200th Anniversary Celebration would be an ideal opportunity for minorities to bring their point home through disruption. Dr. Hall promised that a Black Principal would be appointed to Lincoln High, and was warned not to appoint just any Black person, but one who was truly sensitive to, and understanding of, the Black community. Under fire to clearly state his position, Dr. Hall was unwilling to indicate either a personal or professional commitment to the cause of eradicating racism in the schools, asserting that he did not deem it appropriate to ask such a thing as part of the dialogs. He also requested a 2-month break from the dialog to further prepare for the final point of his statement, which was the ‘Inner City Project’ to address community relations. Since the topic of education was to be postponed, a number of items were proposed for the next meeting’s agenda, to be considered by the Agenda Committee.
January 31, 1969 (Reel #04-2):
Total running time: 2:44:36.
Agenda: communications and news media. Note: this recording has very poor sound quality.
February 14, 1969 (Reel #02-1):
Total running time: 2:39:05.
[This audiotape is a duplicate of the tape of the 2/14/68 meeting.]
February 28, 1969 (Reel #02-1):
Total running time: 2:26:52.
Agenda: the news media and the minority community.
The Urban Coalition’s Task Force on Communications gave an overview of some projects they had successfully assisted, such as publicizing the summer jobs program, by involving large and small businesses, the League of Women Voters, and local churches. They also assisted Mexican American groups on housing problems, senior citizens, and Logan Heights’ Industrial Enterprises. The Task Force and also members of the media invited suggestions for other ways they might help improve the representation of minorities. Some suggestions included assisting students to change the name of their school to Martin Luther King School, to publicize San Diego Gas and Electric Company’s failure to follow through on issues raised by a Mexican American community, and finally to form a Media Group to raise awareness and commit to improving media reporting of minority interests.
March 14, 1969 (Reel #21-2):
Total running time: 2:44:48.
Agenda: special training for news media personnel.
This meeting was a continuation of the discussion about the media, and how minorities felt they were either misrepresented or not represented in the various news sources in San Diego. Several instances were presented of news stories that cast a negative image of a minority person or persons, and also of a minority person or group not being given a chance to offer rebuttal to something printed or aired about them. It was agreed by those present that some sort of ongoing meeting of minority and media should be established to improve communications between them and raise awareness and sensitivity to minority concerns regarding the media. However, there were notable absences at this meeting, with no one from either the Union or Tribune newspapers, or any of the radio stations, and no resolution was reached.
March 28, 1969 (Reel #05-1):
Total running time: 3:00:00.
Agenda: minority representation in employment by public agencies.
The agenda for this meeting was minority and ethnic representation in employment by public agencies. Various representatives presented statistical data about the numbers of minority workers employed in their various departments or city agencies. The general impression of this meeting was a back and forth exchange of attack and defense, related to the minority perception that not enough progress was being made to increase the representation of minorities in higher education, offices of city government, and the public school system. Both the schools administration and the Civil Service Commission, however, put forth a request for help from minorities to determine why there was a lack of progress and what needed to be done about it.
The meeting ended at around 2:29 on the audiotape, and another meeting commenced. The date of this meeting was 4/11/69. The discussion was concerned with the role of the PTA, its lack of power of any kind, and the need for the schools to be more open to the PTA serving in an advisory capacity with input from parents. The full meeting is contained in the next audiotape.
April 11, 1969 (Reel #05-2):
Total running time: 3:00:22.
[Note: This tape begins with the last 48 minutes of the 3/28/69 meeting audiotape. The 4/11/69 meeting actually begins at 49:53 into the tape.]
The 4/11/69 meeting was scheduled to follow up with the topic of education, but school administrators were in Florida for a conference, so that agenda was tabled for a later date. Members were invited to suggest alternative topics, and a few brief discussions ensued. The role and value of the local Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) were considered. Reverend Oxley reported on employment issues with the local hospitality industry, and indicated that some hotels and motels had responded to requests for information. Others had not responded, and still had no minority employees, particularly in more visible roles such as front desk clerks and restaurant servers. He discussed plans for picket lines to be organized at some of those latter businesses. The issue of 4 or 5 Black police officers quitting in the past two months was raised; however, there was no one present who could shed any light on that, and comments were made that the chief of police had never attended any of the dialogs. Finally, complaints about the parking meters in the downtown area were addressed.
May 9, 1969 - part 1 (Reel #20-1):
Total running time: 1:18:38.
Note: this recording has very poor sound quality.
[Note: this tape is only 12 minutes long, and is actually a duplication of the last 12 minutes of the next tape, 5/9/69 Part II, Tape 20-2; it probably should be deleted from the CIC recordings.]
May 9, 1969 - part 2 (Reel #20-2):
Total running time: 2:30:18.
Note: this recording has very poor sound quality.
This meeting dealt with problems in the schools, and a particular incident that took place at Lincoln High School. The details of the incident are not clearly stated, although an editorial shared at the meeting from the local news alleged that it involved violence and illegal activities. Reactions to the incident and the editorial were strong. Several expressed disapproval of the School Board’s absence from the dialogs, and subsequent silence about what took place. Judge Lindsley suggested that constitutional protections existed that gave the students and parents the right to a redress of grievances, and while he could not legally advise anyone specifically, he encouraged them to fight back. Parents spoke with growing anger about the schools, and the notion that only community action would effect changes was endorsed by most members at the meeting. Black activist George Stevens spoke of the Black man’s inevitable revolution in the schools and elsewhere, stating that for himself and most Blacks, there was nothing to lose.
June 6, 1969 (Reel #19-1):
Total running time: 1:42:10.
In this audiotape, we find a dialog concerning the value of the Citizens’ Interracial Committee, and what it has meant for some of its’ members. The fate of the CIC was considered, whether it was to disband, continue in some modified form, or stay the same. All could agree that attendance at the meetings had dropped off drastically, and those absent were primarily members of the power structure, those capable of making changes. Thus, the dialogs had become far less effective in stimulating actions. Most also agreed that some form of the dialogs, or some type of forum, needed to continue to be in existence, both to provide a place for people to bring their needs and concerns, and to keep from giving the power structure the message that they were “off the hook” from doing anything further about the problems that still existed.
[Note: While this is the last audiotape in this special collection, it is noted that the CIC did continue to operate until the end of December of this same year, 1969.]
No date (Reel #11-3):
Total running time: 0:36:03.
[This tape is a duplication of the last portion of the 3/8/68 meeting, reel # 11 – 2.]
Image credit (top): CIC logo, Special Collections and University Archives.
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