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Lee / Education and Community Changes, Part Two

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Proctor: I mean, instead of giving the rallies and allowing them to have the rallies on the courthouse square, we’re in the courthouse. We have a rally every time we come to work. So that’s how they get their—I say, get what they want and how they want to keep it, because like I said not once have a Democratic party (inaudible) running for office in Conroe been elected. It’s a gentleman by the last name of Smith who fixed tires in the Dugan community. Knows the community very well. I mean, a lot of people know Mr. Smith. He ran for office. He ran against, I can’t think of his name, but he was running against him. He was running against the lights on the, you know, for the tickets things and motorcycle cops because they’ll harass you before any of them will. You know, but they didn’t let him win. I say they didn’t let him win because I even spread the word when he was running to who to vote for, where he was having his meetings. He had his campaign meetings in Dugan. He didn’t have them uptown on the courthouse square. He came to the community. They even went to harassing him. He would tell me—I can go by there right now and we’ll sit and talk for thirty minutes before I even tell him what I came by there for. He was telling me he used to sell sweet potatoes on the side of the road, you know, off of his property. They told him he couldn’t do that anymore that he had to get a permit to sell his own sweet potatoes, but a Hispanic can pull up in a taco truck and park it anywhere he want to and sell tacos all day long with no permit. So, what’s the difference? He was rooting for change in the community with the minorities. So, therefore, they consider him a minority and that’s how they treat him. He is a white man. Like I say, the change, we’re going to have to come together as a community and voice our opinion and let them know we mean what we say and that we’re not going to take anymore of the scraps because like he said, all the Hispanics have the jobs now. They’re not going to give the black man a job. If I have two Hispanic applications in and they see—okay, well we’ll take these before we take this one. You have all the experience, they have none, can’t even speak English, but all the other crew members are Hispanic. They’re going to tell him what to do. Lee: I remember last application I filled out. I really didn’t want a job because I was retired but I went there just before I started to draw my retirement. I just went there just to see. The lady told me, said, “You have to be bilingual.” I said, “Why do I have to be bilingual? I was born here.” She said, “You got to be able to speak Spanish as well as English.” I said, “Well, I speak English.” That’s not enough. Interviewer: Do you remember what job it was for? Lee: Let me see. What was that for? It was for some big company, big plant. I was filling out some applications. I was just messing around. Anyway, they told me—I wanted to see how many jobs they would turn me down on. Most jobs, nowadays, (inaudible) they’ll tell you, you can’t be hired if you’re not bilingual. Interviewer: So, did you guys have any last things that you wanted to make sure gets recorded? Any last comments? Lee: Community really needs help. The people need help. The children need to be educated and to do that we’re going to have to have our own place like the college that’s going to have to start with our education system. We’re going to have to be able to educate our own people. Re-educate them. The old peoples, we’re going to have to try and get better for them, get them out of some of these housing projects and stuff.

Interview Interview with Charles Lee and Toddrick Proctor
Subjects Work
Community Organizations
Race Relations › Black-White Race Relations
Race Relations › Black-Brown Race Relations
Education
Electoral Politics
Electoral Politics › Democratic Party
Electoral Politics › Election Rallies
Tags Duggan Neighborhood, Conroe, TX
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Interview date 2016-07-21
Interview source CRBB Summer 2016
Interviewees Lee, Charles
Proctor, Toddrick
Interviewers May, Meredith
Duration 00:05:04
Citation "Education and Community Changes, Part Two," from Charles LeeandToddrick Proctor oral history interview with Meredith May,  July 21, 2016, Tammany, TX, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database, https://crbb.tcu.edu/clips/3151/education-and-community-changes-part-two, accessed July 18, 2019