My Thoughts and Remembrances

by Anne H


By the time of the riots I was married and living in Bloomfield, I worked in Orange. I remember that day I was working on a report that was need "yesterday" under a lot of pressure to get it done - right now.

Suddenly the VP came around to everyone and told us to shut down and go home - immediately! When I questioned him he said there were reports that the rioters were moving up south orange avenue into our area. The building was cleared in a matter of minutes. From then on I drove home with a tire iron on the seat beside me. My husband purchased a hand gun for us to keep at home since I was usually home alone for a few hours until his workday ended.

My mother and youngest sister lived in Vailsburg and another sister lived in Irvington, she could hear gunfire from her apartment. Road blocks were set up in many areas. The city I grew up in (on 2nd St and Sussex Avenue) disappeared. There had always been black kids in my classes at school both elementary and HS but I could no longer look at them as old school chums, now I wasn't sure if they were enemies who would beat me up or worse.

Once, years later I tried to show my kids the house and neighborhood I grew up in, but the people we drove past were so threatening that I asked my husband to turn around and get us out of here. I think one of the things that still angers me is the continued attitude of most black leaders and the liberal press that black America is always the innocent victim and all the racial problems are brought on by white America - what a load of horse manure! Until black America steps up and is willing to judge themselves by the same standards they use to judge whites we are never going to solve our problems


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