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Luthuli-Allen / Activism during College

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Interviewer: I wanted to ask you more about your activism at U of H and its connection to TSU? Lituli-Allen: I tell you what, you see, the movements at TSU, we were like hand and glove. In other words, whatever, geographical boundary that it was, whether it was Scott Street or whatever, it was just purely figurative in the sense that at the University of Houston we were a tiny group. The University of Houston actually desegregated in 1963. Gene Lock came in in 1965 and I came in in 1966. Gene is somewhat important in this whole scheme of things because he and I were both charged with inciting a riot at the University of Houston and here it is a few decades later he’s running for mayor of the city. What a lot of people don’t know about TSU is that TSU had a Friends of SNCC chapter. That was Friends of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick who was one of my mentors, he was the one when I was in high school that led the fight for the Deacons for Defense in northern Louisiana. So, I knew Frederick Kirkpatrick. Then, they also had some representatives of the Dubois clubs at TSU. And so, what we did is that just for fraternity, you know we had some social life restrictions at the University of Houston because we were not fully into the mainstream of life. So, we did a lot of socialization at Texas Southern. Texas Southern had an indigenous movement that dealt with some grievances on campus, some grievances in the city, and we just found it a natural linkage to link with the brothers and sisters at Texas Southern. We were back and forth. The Texas Southern students were back and forth to our campus. We were back and forth to their campus. Mickey Leland was already like an unofficial honorary member of our group at the University of Houston. The TSU Five, Charles Freeman and all of the TSU Five, we participated in all of that in terms of their boycotts and demonstrations. We participated in the fight to get them out jail. The community-based struggles that dealt with the Homedrow Dump, where the kid was drowned at the Homedrow Dump, that was TSU and the University of Houston students. Even when we were charged with inciting a riot, and the other students were charged with property destruction. Ester King and a lot of those folks were TSU students. So, I’m saying that there’s a myth that there was a real hard, fast boundary between the University of Houston and Texas Southern. You know, our small group, we married. My wife is a TSU student. It’s my second wife, but she’s a TSU student. She was a TSU student and was a TSU student at the time we were at the University of Houston. A lot of us had these kinds of cross-fertilized relationships between the University of Houston and TSU. But also, we had an alliance with the students at North Texas State, University of Texas-Austin, Lamar University. So, I’m saying the black student movement, we had a statewide alliance. All of us knew each other on a statewide basis, not just a local basis.

Interview Interview with Omowale Luthuli-Allen
Subjects Family › Marriage
Community Organizations › Civil Rights Organizations › Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
Police and Law Enforcement
Historic Events › Texas Southern University Riot, 1967
Historic Periods › Early 1960s [Exact Date Unknown]
Historic Periods › Mid-1960s [Exact Date Unknown]
Historic Periods › Late 1960s [Exact Date Unknown]
Student Activism
Tags Texas Southern University
University of Houston
Lamar University, Beaumont, TX
University of Texas at Austin
University of North Texas (UNT)
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Interview date 2016-06-17
Interview source CRBB Summer 2016
Interviewees Luthuli-Allen, Omawale
Locations Houston, TX
Duration 00:05:25
Citation "Activism during College ," from Omawale Luthuli-Allen oral history interview with ,  June 17, 2016, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database, https://crbb.tcu.edu/clips/3444/activism-during-college, accessed July 21, 2019