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Watkins / Downtown Houston

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Watkins: Downtown Houston was a mess because Foley’s, Sakowitz, Nieman Marcus, all those stores had dining facilities. This was upscale dining. So, we began to start going to the upscale dining downtown. They refused us service and we would just sit there. They had black waiters at the time and they would meet us at the door and they would say, “Y’all messing with our jobs. They’re going to fire us.” We said, “This is for all of us.” What we are doing is for all of us. They kind of pleaded with us not to do this, but we did. Then we went down Main St. to, it was called—a big fabulous club—Ye Olde College Inn. That was where the big wheels used to dine. So, we started down there on Main Street. We did all the little—it was Eckard’s and Walgreens—we did all their little counters and shut them down. So that’s what we did.

Interview Interview with Halcyon O. Watkins
Subjects Work › "Black Jobs"
Discrimination or Segregation › Discrimination or Segregation in Stores
White Resistance to Civil Rights › White Resistance and Economic Reprisals
Student Activism › Sit-ins
Discrimination or Segregation › Discrimination or Segregation of Public Accommodations › Restaurants
Tags Neiman Marcus
Ye Olde College Inn, Houston
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Interview date 2015-07-23
Interview source CRBB Summer 2015
Interviewees Watkins, Halcyon O.
Locations Houston, TX
Duration 00:01:29
Citation "Downtown Houston," from Halcyon O. Watkins oral history interview with ,  July 23, 2015, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed November 23, 2020