1960s Diary Entries

In: Historical Events

Submitted By aroch2456
Words 931
Pages 4
1960s Diary Entries
Clarence McKinney
HIS/135
November 25, 2012
Jennifer Landers

1960s Diary Entries
Dear Diary,
Today is August 17, 1965 and has been the first day in a week that I could write. The past six days here in Watts have been almost unbearable for me. I take pen in hand to record the events of this past week to have a written account of the horrific things I have witnessed. The Civil Right Act that was passed last year had given me as well as others the hope that the United States was finally on its way to racial equality, but the condition of Watts has not changed for the better. There is high unemployment, substandard housing, and inadequate schools in this district. This has lowered the self-esteem and raised the tempers of the people here.
Last Wednesday on the 11th I opened my store as usual at 8am and set about my daily routine. The day progressed normally until I had to leave the store for a bite to eat. As I walked toward the diner I noticed a group of people across the street gathered around something. I could not see what it was as I was still several yards away. As I came closer I realized that a highway patrolman had pulled a car over to the side of the street. My curiosity peaked and I stopped to see what would happen. A white patrolman had a young black motorist on the sidewalk and was administering a sobriety test. I could hear words bantered back and forth between some of the onlookers and the patrolman. Tensions escalated when the patrolman proceeded to put handcuffs on the motorist. I watched as words were growing in volume as well as anger when suddenly the patrolman struck an onlooker with his club. This triggered riots allover Watts and sent the people into a frenzy of destruction. The rioters overturned people’s cars and set them on fire. They stared fires in buildings and looted stores (my own included). The rioters would…...

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