Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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J. Britton interview
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TitleJ. Britton interview
DescriptionPages of notes taken by Knox College Professor of Sociology, J. Howell Atwood from an interview with J. Britton. Britton speaks of his time in Galesburg, Illinois, in the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th century; discusses prejudice and race relations. Atwood conducted extensive research from 1930-1960 about the Galesburg African American community.
SubjectRace relations
Race discrimination
Schools
Housing
Named PersonBritton, John; Carter, Lewis; Wilkins, Frank;
CreatorAtwood, Jesse Howell;
TypeText
Formatpdf
IdentifierJ. Howell Atwood Manuscript Collection (box 8)
Languageeng
RightsSee http://library.knox.edu/digitalcollections/rightsinfo.htm
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2010-04-23
TranscriptJ. Britton (1)

I came here in 1882. Lived on
the east side -- on Division St. for
1 year. There were more colored
people then in town than now.
There were more active. In 1884
I was married & moved here to W.
Brooks St. -- across the street --
2 yrs. then moved here.
They were more forward thinking
then. Tried to accumulate
property. Could name a dozen
then whose idea it was to buy
a home. There is plenty of slothful-
ness & orneriness -- people can't
get things dirty -- then move.
Things seem to be going back-
wards. People aren't earnest
in forcing their children to go to
school. In the old days they
forced them to attend. Not only
our people but whites too. You



Britton (2)

can see them running
around the streets. This
block in here has always been
owned & lived in largely by
colored people. When I came
North street was the country
line -- whites built then but
except for along north West
& a few exceptions colored
weren't sold. There was an
understanding among real
estate men not to sell.
On the whole there were better
relations between the races
-- better feeling then than
now.
Mixed schools have
brought all this about. My
child going to a mixed school
thinks he's the equal of your
child. When he grows up he
wants his rights & that makes
trouble. They grad. our child-



Britton (3)
ren but when our
children try to get a position
we're told we aren't compe-
tent. The good Lord only can
change this. It won't be
in this generation. This pre-
judice is deep rooted. The
black man isn't prejudiced
only he knows that his opportun-
ity is limited. I was down
in St. Louis -- a 10 [cent] dept.
store & in the basement there
both col-- & wh-- clerks.
One of the N. lady clerks
explained that the So. Wh--
women preferred N. clerks
so that they could say what
they pleased -- with no come
back. We had a colored
clerk in a grocery store for
years -- (D.C. Raymond & Son) - Mr.
Lewis Carter.



Britton
degree: patriarch, grand
master etc. We had our
swords & drill master.
Frank Wilkins was secy.
when the lodge became inactive.
We had a grand lodge at
one time. We used to feel
grand when we put that on.
Neither of my boys have ever
taken to a lodge -- two ornery
about the world.
Physical Descriptionhandwritten on 8.5 x 5.25 (half) sheet
Filenamenotespage79-82.tif
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