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Watkins / Bus Station Sit-in and Stand-in

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Watkins: We kept going. When we went downtown to the bus station, they just took all the stools out. So, everybody had to stand around if you bought coffee or anything, but we still couldn’t go into the white section of the bus station. We started sitting on the floor. They started—some people got together and bought us bus tickets. They paid for our tickets and we would ride the bus from Houston to Dallas. Some students would get off in Waco and catch the bus coming from Dallas and go back to Houston. Throughout the day, at that time, they had about three buses going to Dallas and three buses coming to Houston. So, at the end of the day, we were all back in Houston. We would take turns. We just sat on the floor at the bus station. When we got our tickets, we had tickets cause they wouldn’t sell us tickets at the bus station, so someone would go down and buy the tickets and they finally caught on that they were buying the tickets for us. These were some other groups that were buying the tickets for us. Anyway, we started getting on the bus and started loading up the bus from the front. So, what they would do, they would bring an extra bus in so white passengers could ride on that extra bus. That wasn’t going to work either. So, we got on that bus and the first bus. We just started sitting in front and we wouldn’t move. A lot of times, the bus driver would say if you don’t move, nobody’s moving. We said, “That’s fine. This is your bus.” We’d just sit there. Finally, they’d pull off. Like I said, some would get off in Waco and some would ride on to Dallas. The bus coming from Dallas, that group would get on that bus and come back.

Interview Interview with Halcyon O. Watkins
Subjects White Resistance to Civil Rights
White Resistance to Civil Rights › White Resistance and Economic Reprisals
Student Activism › Sit-ins
Discrimination or Segregation › Discrimination or Segregation of Public Accommodations › Transportation
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Interview date 2015-07-23
Interview source CRBB Summer 2015
Interviewees Watkins, Halcyon O.
Duration 00:02:22
Citation "Bus Station Sit-in and Stand-in," from Halcyon O. Watkins oral history interview with ,  July 23, 2015, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed July 14, 2020