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after two separate incidents in Houston in which Negroes were wounded by shots fired by some white boys in a passing auto. Justice reports in his doctoral diss’ertation that a study of Houston and Los Angeles census data shows that there is not as much difference between the cities in housing for Negroes as Welch had believed. Justice reports that in late August and early September of 1965 white and Negro families were arming themselves for defense, in response to the rumors of impending disorder. Police leaves were cancelled for the Labor Day weekend; an unusually large number of persons was believed to have left town that weekend, but the anticipated trouble didn’t develop. In January, 1966, a confidential federal survey was reported, by the Wall Street Journal, to show that Houston was one of 21 U.S. cities where Negro unrest “has grown to the point that a spark could set off a racial explosion.” A spark was struck off just a few weeks later, in March, but the explosion, somehow, didn’t occur; perhaps cool weather was the reason. A Negro man was shot to death by a white policeman in the Third Ward. The Negro had been suspected, erroneously, of having shoplifted a barbecued chicken at a grocery store. A grand jury exonerated the policeman but tempers were short in Negro neighborhoods. Was the TSU outbreak a riot in the usual sense? The Rev. Lawson, who took his undergraduate degree in sociology, thinks not. Usually, he says, a riot is characterized by a sequence of occurrences, some of which were not noted here in May: there normally are one or more sympathetic reactions in other areas, other parts of town; there almost always is, he said, some tendency to resist arrest, but there was almost none of this at TSU; and the usual plans for retaliation that follow tumult such as that on the campus were not heard of and, if they were being laid by someone, somewhere, were not immediately carried out, as would be expected. “What we had here is certainly a few angry fellows on the campus,” Lawson said, “but what is not generally known is that these are being smothered by apathy on the campus.” The same apathy is still the case throughout most of black Houston. This is not to say there is no discontent; there is, as has been discussed, but there is a general absence of inclination towards violence in black Houston and a widespread sense of futility in seeking to deal with problems that grip the community. Lawson and others suggested to the Observer that the disorders at TSU that night might have been avoided had police acted “more wisely” and been “less precipitate” in escalating the situation to the point where the two dormitories had to be stormed. Police and city officials scoff at this, saying that even leaders of the Negro community were unable to stem the rising tempers in the dorms. Several Negroes and whites said that the police have aggravated the situation in the Third Ward by at times being in the area in force, gathering near TSU at Jeppeson Stadium or on Tierwester Street when trouble was rumored to be at hand. TSU IS BECOMING a center of what activism there is among Houston Negroes; the poverty war embraces most of the remainder of those who work for change. The university is something of an oddity in educational circles, a peculiarity that is traceable to the school’s beginning, in 1947, when it was founded by the legislature to stall integration at the University of Texas. The TSU law school, established in 1948, cost the state $100,000 to accommodate the one Negro who had applied for admission to the U.T. law school. As TSU dean of law Kenneth S. Tollett puts it, “We were born in sin.” The future of TSU is in doubt, due to the progress of desegregation and the proximity of another, much larger state university, the University of Houston, just a few blocks away. Students who attend TSU come from a variety of academic and personal backgrounds; often they are not well-educated before they go to TSU, due to the poor education offered in segregated Negro public schools. Many courses here are remedial. Financing of TSU’s operations by the state is tightfisted; there are no counselors for the dormitories, the dean of men doubles as dean of student life. Much of TSU, as one member of the English department puts it, is veneer. Yes, there is a library, but it is very small, and woefully ill-equipped for serious research. Yes, there is a bookstore, but it has an extensive selection of sweatshirts and greeting cards, and the only books open for browsing are a haphazard batch of used paperbacks on a card table at the rear of the store. Many of the courses listed and described in the catalogue year after year are simply never given. Until the 1966-’67 academic year TSU largely reflected the apathy that envelopes the fest of black Houston. The seeds of change probably were sown earlier, but they first began to sprout last fall. In October James Forman, national coordinator of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, spoke on campus and, afterwards, a Friends of SNCC chapter was formed. In February, while the legislature was in session at Austin, the Friends of SNCC organized and conducted a march of about 100 persons on downtown Houston in protest of some alleged police brutality in East Texas. The Friends of SNCC members who had been meeting on campus were told by appropriations-conscious administrators that they would not be permitted to meet at TSU in the future. The group’s faculty sponsor, Mack Jones, was advised about this time that his teaching contract would not be renewed. This triggered what now can be regarded as a prelude to the May disorders. A protest was organized in March by the Rev. F. D. Kirkpatrick, a graduate sociology student and the founder of the Deacons for Justice and Defense, a Negro self-defense organization; Millard Lowe, another student and, with Kirkpatrick, the co-chairman of the Friends of SNCC; Lee Otis Johnson, a former TSU student; and Franklin Alexander, of Chicago, the national chairman of the W.E.B. DuBois Club, which is said by the FBI to be a communist-front organization. A boycott of classes was called and rallies and another march downtown held. Wheeler Street was blocked for a time by the students, who have long resented the presence of the thoroughfare in the middle of their campus. The protest widened to include the guality of food served at TSU cafeterias, curfew hours, and other student life matters. Kirkpatrick, Alexander, and Johnson were arrested as leaders of the protest and were jailed on $25,000 bond each. Later the bonds were reduced to $1,000 each. University officials, after conferring for several days with Blair Justice of the mayor’s office, finally agreed to recognize the Friends of. SNCC as a bona fide campus organization and to work to correct the other grievances raised. That was in early April. In the next six weeks the police assigned two Negro policemen to permanent duty at TSU to keep an eye on things. During the period numerous instances of students throwing rocks at cars driving along Wheeler Street were reported to police. J USTICE’S THEORY as set forth in his dissertation, for determining racial tension before a riot occurs relies impoverished members of a minority from “listening posts,” manned by persons whose jobs put them in daily contact with lower class members of the minority or individuals considered to take such strong positions on the racial question as to constitute a possible source of ignition or provocation in an outbreak of violence.” The first method, the conversations, would be conducted to determine certain factors in a subject’s background. Justice writes’that a strong potential for violence exists on the level of those who have the least to lose. To determine who such persons are Justice developed three measures he found reliable the number of moves a person’s family made while he was a child, any break-up of his family \(as to urban environment. The greater the extent of these three factors in a person’s background, Justice found, the more likely he would be to respond to calls to violence. In a survey of 110 Houston Negroes, chosen at random during the summer of 1965, Justice found that 76% of them favored racial violence in some respect. June 9, 1967 9