`The Whole Community Is a Bomb’ good, publication of a long series which Friedman wrote on the Negro problem in Houston. But a year ago, when the Chronicle was a different sort of newspaper, Friedman analyzed the meaning of the demonstration and defined the Negro patterns of power in that city. The key to the power situation was demonstrated, Friedman wrote, when the Negroes neared the administration building and Harrel Gordon Tillman, appointed by Welch as Houston’s first Negro corporation court judge, offered to mediate between Welch and Lawson; Lawson Ignored the offer and kept marching. Friedman believed that this marked the ascendancy of a new kind of Negro leader, that exemplified by Lawson, a poetrywriting activist, and Miss Barbara Jordan, now an unchallenged Democratic nominee to the state senate, then an assistant attorney in the office of County Judge Bill Elliott. The old guard included men like Mack H. Hannah Jr., thought to be Houston’s wealthiest Negro, and the father-in-law of Judge Tillman; Hannah heads a $5-million empire capped by a savings and loan association. Others included TSU’s president, Dr. Samuel M. Nabrit, and the 81-year-old Rev. L. H. Simpson, chieftain of the Negro Baptist ministers in the city. All of these leaders remain, and Lawson and Miss Jordan have become an educator and a politician, respectively. But there are proteges and new workers, and, according to a sociologist who has followed Negro leadership in Houston closely, there is a continuity of leadership despite changing roles. Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorported the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Associate Editor, Larry Lee. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Bill Bramrner, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Robert Sherrill, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. That sociologist is Mrs. Wilhelmina Perry of Texas Southern University, who says that she sees a need for the elder statesman, such as Hannah, and the activist, such as Lawson. Mrs. Perry, acceptable to Mayor Welch and Judge Elliott for appointment to a director’s seat on the Houston Harris County Economic Opportunity Organization, notes an undercurrent of danger in the Houston Negro situation. “The whole community is a bomb,” she told the Observer. “Negroes are repressed, and there is this latent anxiety. It’s just a matter of providing the situation that will ignite the bomb. I don’t think that the Negro is really so naturally docile and submissive.” Last year’s school crisis resulted in no tangible gains for the Negro community, and no major effort to establish dialogue has yet been made. The gap between Negro and white was demonstrated when Mrs. Perry compared her sociometric studies of the Negroes whom Negroes respect with a study by a University of Houston researcher of the Negroes whom whites respect. High on the list of Negroes respected by whites was an elderly Negro businessman who was unknown to and untrusted by the Negro community in general, and Mrs. Perry said that his appearance on the list prised her tremendously. The whites still seek this man’s counsel. Mrs. Perry, who cannot be described as a militant activist, shrugs off the charge. often heard, that those partisan to the cause of Negro rights keep bringing up the threat of street violence simply as a political lever against the white power structure. The None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present it is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $6.00 a year; two years, $11.00; three years, $15.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin 5, Texas Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. feeling of danger, she said, “is a feeling I had long before Watts.” In her studies, Mrs. Perry said, she has discovered what she calls “two persistent themes of Negro concern.” One is the continued segregation and the low quality of Negro schools, and the other is “police brutality.” “We need a dialogue in which the speakers are in equal roles,” Mrs. Perry explained, adding that recent Negro-white confrontations on schools and police procedures have been a matter of power talking to the powerless. THIS SPRING the fuse burned shorter, but was quenched by rain one Saturday. It all happened in the Third Ward, just a few blocks from TSU. Joe Rainbolt, who operates the B&J Lounge on Rosedale, remembers that it was about two o’clock on that Thursday afternoon in late February old laborer, was drinking a beer in the lounge. Rainbolt says that Hill remembered that he needed to pick up a loaf of bread and left the B&J for a moment and returned with a loaf of bread in a paper bag. Rainbolt said Hill told him and others in the lounge that something had happened. As Hill had left the store, he told them, the white woman who operated the grocery “thought that Lucky had taken that loaf of bread,” Rainbolt recalled. “It was in a bag, but he didn’t have the receipt. He told her where he was going and that she could call the law if she wanted to.” Rainbolt continued: “I thought he was kidding until officer J. L. Reece showed up, collared him, took him to the table over there and searched him. Then he asked Lucky to come outside, and he started out with him and Lucky set about half a bottle of beer on the counter there. I stayed inside, and about three to five minutes later, I heard the shots and broke and ran. I was the first one to Lucky. Reece had him by the collar after he had shot him. Lucky looked at me and said, ‘Tell him, Joe, I hadn’t did nothing.’ “Reece crawled on into his car and turned on a switchI don’t think the radio had been on. He laid his cap on the seat. He’d gotten blood on his hands, Lucky’s blood . . .” Nine witnesses went before the grand jury that looked into it. The Houston Post reported that before going into the grand jury room, Patrolman Reece said: “After I arrested him [Hill], he tried to take my pistol. There was a struggle. At one time both of us had our hands on my pistol, and it fired three times.” A Negro witness, Lamar Robbins, disputed this, the Post reported. “There was no tussle. He [Hill] just went to block a lick,” Robbins said. “Eight other witnesses told varying stories to the grand jury,” the Post said it had learned. The grand jury declined to take action against Reece. The early stories about the shooting said Hill had been arrested for reportedly shoplifting a barbecued chicken. If evidence THE TEXAS OBSERVER Texas Observer Co., Ltd. 1966 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 60th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 58, No. 8 7e le p May 13, 1966
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