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Aaron / Activism in Houston, TX

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Interviewer: In the late sixties, you get involved with the People’s Party Two. Y’all are dealing with many issues in the community, one of which was police brutality. You’re dealing with other issues like housing and whatnot. What programs did you engage in? What were you involved in? Aaron: Well, we initially started selling a newspaper and we had a free clothing program. That was one of the first programs we started here in Houston in our office. We got some clothes and started giving them away to the community. We had what we called political education classes. We’d have political education classes and invite the whole community to come to them, you know. That was our initial programs. Selling the paper, giving away clothes, and political education classes. Interviewer: What papers were you selling? Aaron: We were selling the Black Panther newspaper—no, no, no, we first started off, before we started selling the Black Panther newspaper, we started selling Space City Newspapers. Do you know anything about Space City? Interviewer: Can you tell us about Space City paper please? Aaron: Space City paper was started by some whites that was in the movement. Liberal whites, whatever you want to call them. (inaudible) They used to have an office right out here in Third Ward. We used to relate to them. Communicate with them. We used to work with them on certain things and they had a newspaper. We started and we had to have some kind of way of getting some money. They allowed us to sell their newspaper and we’d keep some of the proceeds. We sold Space City newspapers and then we eventually got hooked up with the Black Panther newspaper and we started selling that paper instead of Space City. Interviewer: Were you able to write some of the stories in the Space City? Aaron: Oh yeah. Yeah, they’d carry articles, speeches of Carl. He would have his speeches in the paper. We worked—we got along very well together. That’s one reason we sold the paper because they would have pictures of Carl in there. Articles. Things like that. So we was putting out our word by putting out their newspaper. Interviewer: Do you know when it was first started, Space City paper? Aaron: I don’t remember when it was first started, but it was going on before the party, before People’s Party. It was going on before us, but I don’t remember when it got started. Interviewer: You said it was white activists in the city. What organizations were these white activists involved in? Aaron: Outside of Space City, they had the John Brown Revolutionary League and we had a coalition over there. They had MAYO, Mexican American Youth Organization. Those two groups we worked very closely with. We had what we called the Rainbow Coalition and all of us was involved in Space City newspaper. We were all very close.

Interview Interview with James Aaron
Subjects Housing
Housing › Neighborhoods
Housing › Sub-standard Housing
Housing › Low Income Housing
Community Organizations
Community Organizations › Civil Rights Organizations
Community Organizations › Civil Rights Organizations › National and Regional Civil Rights Organizations
Community Organizations › Civil Rights Organizations › Local Civil Rights Organizations
Community Organizations › Community outreach
Community Organizations › Community Organizations and Institution-Building
Race Relations
Race Relations › Black-White Race Relations
Race Relations › Black-Brown Race Relations
Police and Law Enforcement
Police and Law Enforcement › Police Brutality
Media
Media › Black Newspapers
Historic Periods › Late 1960s [Exact Date Unknown]
Student Activism › Black Participation in Latino/a-led Actions
Black Power
Black Power › Black Panthers
Black Power › Local Black Power Organizations
Chicano Power › Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO)
Tags Space City Newspaper, Houston, TX
John Brown Revolutionary League, Houston, TX
Hampton, Carl
The People's Party II
Rainbow Coalition
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Interview date 2016-06-08
Interview source CRBB Summer 2016
Interviewees Aaron, James
Interviewers Enriquez, Sandra
Rodriguez, Samantha
Locations Houston, TX
Duration 00:03:55
Citation "Activism in Houston, TX," from James Aaron oral history interview with Sandra Enriquez and Samantha Rodriguez,  June 08, 2016, Houston,TX, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database, https://crbb.tcu.edu/clips/2502/activism-in-houston, accessed June 16, 2019