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Johnson / Decisions at Graduation

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Interviewer: So, there were numerous incidences leading up to your graduation with your doctorate that you felt like the times just weren’t ready? Johnson: No, not for that. Not for the graduation. Interviewer: So, it wasn’t anything in particular about A&M, living in Bryan— Johnson: No, no, no. I think— Interviewer: —it was just lifetime of experiences? Johnson: I really think that things would have worked out eventually, but I thought it would be better not to. I think, basically, they were relieved that I elected to be out of town. Of course, it would have been a grand occasion, but I think the people that I would want to be there would not have been there. Interviewer: Your family? Johnson: Maybe family, but not much more. Few friends, maybe. I don’t know. It has a heck of a reputation, you know. As we tried to go out there on several occasions to the football game and they would hardly let us outside the gate. Likely it was a deputy standing there, that kind of thing. You just can’t describe the effect that that can have on a person when you look at it reality. There’s no way to explain it or understand it. You just have to live with it because it has consequences.

Interview Interview with James E. Johnson
Subjects Family
Race Relations
Discrimination or Segregation
Discrimination or Segregation › Discrimination or Segregation at School
Education › Higher Education
Education › Education and Integration › Tokenism in School Integration
Police and Law Enforcement
Tags Texas A&M University
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Interview date 2015-07-21
Interview source CRBB Summer 2015
Interviewees Johnson, James E.
Interviewers Acuña-Gurrola, Moisés
Bynum, Katherine
Duration 00:01:57
Citation "Decisions at Graduation," from James E. Johnson oral history interview with Moisés Acuña-Gurrola and Katherine Bynum,  July 21, 2015, Prairie View, TX , Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed January 27, 2021