INGRAM: I’m meeting with Mr. Walter Easley at 4 o’clock. Uh, Mr. Walter Easley, will you state, uh, your full name for me?

EASLEY: Walter [Ron] Easley.

INGRAM: When were you born?

EASLEY: Uh, the eighth, twenty-third, nineteen-twenty.

INGRAM: Where at?

EASLEY: Rees, Tennessee.

INGRAM: Uh, your mother’s name?

EASLEY: Lorraine Easley.

INGRAM: Your father’s name?

EASLEY: William Easley.

INGRAM: What was your mother’s maiden name?

EASLEY: [Cisco].

INGRAM: Okay, [Cisco]?


INGRAM: Okay. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

EASLEY: Well, I got, uh, let’s see, I got two sisters, and I got, uh, I got three, three—two other brothers other than myself.

INGRAM: Could you give me the names of your brothers and sisters, their first and last names, and the first name of your sisters and their married name, if they’re married.

EASLEY: Um, uh, Miss Willow Bates.

INGRAM: Her age?

EASLEY: She’s sixty…will be sixty-two in September. And Doris Harley. She 1:00will be…she change ages so much I forget when she was born. Doris is…I think she’s arou—I’m not sure. I’m confused about her.

INGRAM: She next [grant it]

EASLEY: And I have, name Stanley, Easley, he was born in nineteen and twenty-two.

INGRAM: ’Kay. How old is, how old is he?

EASLEY: He’s, uh, fifty-eight.


EASLEY: And I have one, uh, James Wardell Easley. He’s about…fifty I think, or fifty-two. Fifty-one, somewhere in there.

INGRAM: How old were you when you came to Ypsilanti?

EASLEY: Well, I was twenty.

INGRAM: Twenty years of age? What year?

EASLEY: Uh, in, nineteen-forty.


INGRAM: What, what circumstances brought you to Ypsilanti? Why did you come here?

EASLEY: Well, I had a sister here.

INGRAM: Oh, okay.

EASLEY: And, I just wanted to leave from down in the Southern States. They say everything’s real good up here and some of the fellows that came down there is making a lot of money, so I wanted to get up and make me some money too.

INGRAM: As a young man while growing up in Ypsilanti, what were some of your impressions of black life in Ypsilanti? You know, the black community, especially.

EASLEY: Well, I think it used to be real nice.

INGRAM: Used to be? Explain that.

EASLEY: Well, I mean, you, you take, when I first come up here, you could go and you could leave your house, leave your door open. You didn’t have to lock it up. Your neighbor would look out for you. But now you can’t do that.

INGRAM: Why ha—why is that? What do you think? What are some of the reasons?

EASLEY: I, I don’t know. There’s things here, I just, have changed. The youngs—young people have changed through the years, you know. They got really


INGRAM: You mean, from good to, from better to worse?

EASLEY: Yeah, from better to worse. I think the main problem is, is this dope. I guess there’s been dope all the time but, uh,

INGRAM: Is, is that a problem

EASLEY: When I was coming up,

INGRAM: Is that a problem in Ypsilanti, dope?

EASLEY: Oh yeah, sure it is.

INGRAM: What—will you elaborate on that some?

EASLEY: ’Cause see, kids nowadays get that, they get to using that dope, they have no respect for me, you, or nobody else, they just don’t care.

INGRAM: Yeah, yeah.

EASLEY: They smoke it in the streets, they smoke it out, they smoke it anywhere, they don’t care.

INGRAM: How long has that been a problem in the black community in Ypsilanti?

EASLEY: Well, I say for the last, about the last real, been a real problem for about the last, I say about the last eight or nine years.

INGRAM: Eight or nine years. What do you think are some of the reasons for, for that becoming a major problem? Compared to the past, when it was not one?

EASLEY: Well, I really don’t know, uh, it, it seemed to have an effect on some kind of way. ’Cause I’ve seen—I mean, we used to drink beer,


EASLEY: whiskey, and stuff like that, and it didn’t, it didn’t have the same effect, I mean the people, they didn’t, we didn’t act like they do now. 4:00I don’t know what, what caused it, but we just didn’t act like that, we’d go out, have a lot of fun, but now they want to get full of dope, and want to fight, raise sin, have no respect for nobody,

INGRAM: What, could, could you name for me uh, what you think are some of the biggest problems in the black community in Ypsilanti? You mentioned one was dope. Are there any other problems that you see in the black community?

EASLEY: Well, it’s a lot of young people out of work, and that, I don’t know, that could be some of the problem, you know.

INGRAM: Yeah, that’s understandable.

EASLEY: There’s a lot of them out of work, and it’s—and they say well, they don’t want to work, but it’s—where can you get a job? You take that, up there where I work, now there’s people for fourteen years, just got laid off, going to lay off some more. And where you going to get a job at?

INGRAM: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

EASLEY: And it’s, it’s, some that it wouldn’t work if the job were 5:00sitting right beside of them, that’s true too. But the biggest majority of the people would work if they could get a job. But the problem is, our kids, go somewhere to get a job, or either they fill out an application, when they show up, it’s a problem there because the people they just don’t cater to hiring them too fast.

INGRAM: Oh, well, are you suggesting, tell me, what is life like in terms of race relations in Ypsilanti? I mean, is it—you know, how, how is race relations between blacks and whites? Is it, is it very conservative, you know, is racism real big here?

EASLEY: It’s this big—

INGRAM: Speak to it.

EASLEY: pretty big problem here.

INGRAM: Could you elaborate on that some?

EASLEY: Because, I mean, the people will grin in your face, but you go try to get a job, something like that, they, they, they’re not going to give you a job as quickly as they would a white per—white kid. I know, for instance, as 6:00kids got out of school, like my, my [cut] Morris finished school in Belleville, I been working out to Rawsonville, I have twenty-five years, I had a time getting him in there, those white kids come right in there.

INGRAM: They come right in there.

EASLEY: They come right in there, no problem whatsoever. Then you go to see the guy that’s doing the hiring, he tell you what, “come back next week,” they’re hiring every day. And that’s been the problem since I’ve been out there.

INGRAM: How long have you been out there? Since—

EASLEY: Well, I’ll have twenty-five years in September twelve. Twenty-five years.

INGRAM: Twenty-five years.


INGRAM: And so you—what you, what I hear you saying is that there’s some preferential treatment going on

EASLEY: Right.

INGRAM: in the hiring. white folk hire white folk, they don’t want to hire black folk.

EASLEY: They don’t want to. Wasn’t for the union, they all would be out there anyway. When the layoff come, we didn’t have a union out there, all the, all the black people would be the first ones that would go. That’s, that’s the facts, ain’t nothing here beating around the bush. It’s here, and it’s 7:00out there.

INGRAM: Is it another, could you name some other areas that you’ve noticed, it’s so, you’ve noticed it in hiring young blacks, the racism there, what’s, what’s another area that you’ve noticed? What, what about—

EASLEY: Well, see, I work at Rawsonville,


EASLEY: And the same thing at the generator,

INGRAM: The generator, too? What’s—

EASLEY: Same thing—that’s a Ford factory.


EASLEY: Same thing at Saline, and the same thing, that, uh, out here in Milan, they built a new plant. Sure, they hire a few, enough to keep the government off of them, that’s all.

INGRAM: So, so, there really hasn’t been any real effort to hire young blacks in Ypsilanti, and a lot of the problems that we have is because of the fact that young blacks can’t really get a job

EASLEY: That’s it. They cannot get a job, they go, and they get disgusted, ’cause every time they go, the man says, ain’t nothing doing, but I went, for instance, I was working at uh, at Wayne assembly plant,


EASLEY: I been out there about five years, and I got laid off, and any time you’re working for Ford’s, and they’re hiring, and you’re laid off, you 8:00have preference over any, any new, you know,

INGRAM: Right. We’ll hire you, right.

EASLEY: person. Yeah. So I went out there for about a week or so, and every time I’d go out there the guy said, we ain’t hiring today. And there’s people coming right through, coming up here from Mississippi, Texas and Alabama, I’ve seen them come out there,

INGRAM: Getting hired,

EASLEY: getting hired, didn’t have no place to stay, keep the stuff in the car,

INGRAM: Tell me about that cat that be doing the hiring, is he, is he uh, is he a [real] Southerner, or—

EASLEY: Well, they, they got rid of him,


EASLEY: They got rid of him, but they—and, uh, cause they was selling the jobs, and they caught with him.

INGRAM: You mean many of the, the old, uh, person who did the hiring was a Southerner who used to

EASLEY: I don’t know where he’s a Southerner, [to another man] Was that guy a Southerner?

MAN: No, he lived in Ann Arbor, name’s West.

INGRAM: Named West. What was his first name?

MAN: I don’t know.

INGRAM: Okay. But he used to, he used to, hire whites over blacks all the time.

EASLEY: And they used to, they used to sell jobs, and they caught up with him, and uh, then the state, the state came out there and did the hiring for a while. 9:00But they, they finally got around—

INGRAM: When did the state come out there, to do that kind of hiring?

EASLEY: That was, uh, I don’t think [I know] exactly what year now, but,

INGRAM: How many years ago, about?

EASLEY: Oh, that’s been I guess about maybe twelve or thirteen, about twelve or thirteen years

INGRAM: Twelve or thirteen years ago.


INGRAM: Do you think that, that [body] in the improvements with the state did that, or,

EASLEY: Oh yeah. Definitely.

INGRAM: It did?

EASLEY: Definitely.

INGRAM: Well, what about now?

EASLEY: Well, uh, right now things are slow, but they’ve been doing fair. They hired—I, I notice they hire about ten to one, maybe fifteen to one, I [haven’t], I haven’t checked and I haven’t come out that I’ve seen fifteen white, one black, come in there.

INGRAM: What about the black women in, in Ypsilanti? The, the black, uh, young adult females, how do you see their, their, their plight, their situation? Because what you’re telling me it’s hard for young brothers, the young black adults, they can’t get a job, the men in the plant, going to the plants,

EASLEY: Well, the, well, the, maybe those young, young girls, it’s going to, 10:00[get out the] young ladies, lot of young women,


EASLEY: [It gets on] they got a better chance to get on than a, than a man.

INGRAM: Why do you think that’s so?

EASLEY: I don’t know why it is, but it is, it’s true. We got a lot of, we got a lot of colored girls that’s working out to the plant. And they can—they’ll hire them [put them] in with a man.

INGRAM: Really? How long has that, has been going on, do you think?

EASLEY: That’s been going on, oh, I guess ever since they started that women’s lib. That’s been [laughs]

INGRAM: The early sixties, is what you’re saying.

EASLEY: Yeah, yeah.


EASLEY: That’s true, yeah.

INGRAM: Wow, wow. Tell me, uh, who, as a youth, you know, as a young adult, when you were about twenty years old when you came here, in the 40s, right?


INGRAM: Uh, who were the, the, the, uh, black leaders in the community here in Ypsilanti? Could you name a few?

EASLEY: Dr. Perry,

INGRAM: And some of your impressions of each.

EASLEY: Yeah. Dr. Perry, he was a dentist, he was a well-liked person,

INGRAM: Mm-hmm.

EASLEY: And, um, and Dr. Clark,

INGRAM: Mm-hmm.


EASLEY: and we had, um, well, let’s see, who else did we have here, we had um, uh, John Burton,

INGRAM: John Burton?

EASLEY: Yeah, now he’s been a pusher for this, for this race of people ever since I’ve been knowing him. He’s been the, he’s been with the UAW for years and he’s, he’s still a, he was the ex-mayor, he’s the ex-mayor of Ypsi too, and he’s done a lot of good for the trying to help the people young and old around his community.

INGRAM: Yeah. Were there any black women leaders in Ypsilanti? [when you were coming] here

EASLEY: No, no, there was, you know,


EASLEY: we had teachers and stuff like that.

INGRAM: What about, uh, were there any, uh, black ministers [if they were] leaders, leaders, when you were, when you were, uh, coming up here?


INGRAM: Name some of those individuals.

EASLEY: There was Garther Roberson,

INGRAM: Okay, is that senior you’re talking about?


EASLEY: That’s the—yeah.

INGRAM: Garther Roberson, senior.

EASLEY: Garther Roberson, yeah. And S. L., he’s, well, he’s been in a minister quite some time, he’s been, he’s been, doing a lot of good work for this community for a long long time, ’course, I knew him when he was real young before he finished, when he was in school, and his [but his follower before Henley], was everything, you know, tried to help, do what he could do for the, the black community, and there’s professor Beatty, he’s been uh, person that’s been doing a lot for the community, ’cause he was a professor up here, he’s up here Perry School, I mean, he’s been, uh, I think it, up to west junior high, I think. He’s, I think is retired now,


EASLEY: but he’s still on the board of education.

INGRAM: Mm-hmm. Um, what about, uh, today? Who are the black community leaders today?


EASLEY: Well, we have quite a few.

INGRAM: Name some for me.

EASLEY: We have, uh, Doug Harris, he’s a councilman, he’s, Doug Harris, and, Raymond Mullin, and, uh, Doctor Bass

INGRAM: Is that Thomas Bass?

EASLEY: Yes, Thomas Bass. [to someone else:] Hey! And uh, let’s see, Reverend Frank—E. Franklin Wilson, and, Reverend, um, what’s his name, I forget, it’s Second Baptist Reverend Hopkins


INGRAM: Hopkins

EASLEY: Yeah. They all community leaders

INGRAM: Do we have any young community leaders today, like in my age bracket, I mean young men, that are leaders, you know, in their twenties and thirties, you know, early thirties,

EASLEY: We don’t have too many.

INGRAM: Why is that?

EASLEY: I, I don’t know. Just, I guess the young people are just not, they not interested too much in it, I don’t think.

INGRAM: Why is that?

EASLEY: I really don’t know. We have some young men that’s real active in church and stuff like that, have been, you know, have been with kids, and stuff like that, but other than that they just, they just [light], I don’t know, they just, they got a lot of young kids, they just not interested in settling down [ ]

INGRAM: You don’t have any reasons why that might be?

EASLEY: No, I really, I really don’t know why.

INGRAM: Tell me something like, uh, when you came in the early forties, were 15:00there any blacks in Ypsilanti that owned businesses?


INGRAM: And if so, give me some names. Who?

EASLEY: Bill Mahaley, he owned the 310 bar,

INGRAM: Bill Mahaley? Where was he from?

EASLEY: I don’t know where Bill was from. I don’t know, he was here when I come, he was, he was established when I got here. [To someone else:] Hey, do you know about Bill Mahaley?


EASLEY: Yes, he, he was born here in Ypsi, as far as my knowing him, I’m not


EASLEY: sure.

INGRAM: And he owned the 310 bar?

EASLEY: Yeah, he, 310 bar, and uh,

INGRAM: Any other businesses that he owned? What kind of person was he, did you know him?


INGRAM: What kind of person was he?

EASLEY: He was, he was real nice person, real nice person. He was a, he was a businessman, he was a guy that tried to help the kids, help the community.

INGRAM: About what year was this, this person we’re talking about?

EASLEY: It was back in 1940, ’41.

INGRAM: Who else? Name some others that were, you know, black owners of businesses.


EASLEY: Well, let’s see now, who’s had a business here, well, they had barber shops here and…uh, Hall,

INGRAM: J. D. Hall?

EASLEY: J. D. Hall, he started to barber here a long time, years ago,

INGRAM: Oh, okay.

EASLEY: And they had another fellow, what was his name, I can’t think of his, think of the fellow’s name, he had a [to someone else:] What was the barber’s name that was up on, uh, up on, uh, where, where Paul started, what was that barber’s name?

MAN: Where?

EASLEY: Up on, uh, Adams, wouldn’t you know, Adams or Washington street. He was an old fellow, no, right up here on Washington Street, you know, used to have a barber shop up there,

MAN: We had one on Michigan Avenue, Sam Travis, [ ] on—

EASLEY: Yeah, we had one down here on, on Washington Street.

MAN: Well, he had one on,


MAN: he was on Michigan Avenue before he come down here.

INGRAM: Who was this?

MAN: Sam Travis.

INGRAM: Sam Travis.

EASLEY: Sam Travis, yeah.



EASLEY: Well, see, this—he know more about the, the old-timers right here than I do.

INGRAM: Who owned businesses, you know, like

MAN: He had—right there, um, you know, where the, right along there where the Moose lodge used to be, down there by the river.


MAN: He had a barber shop there.

EASLEY: See, I, I didn’t get here first forty, so those person I know who lives

MAN: Down on [Wharton] street.

EASLEY: Then they had the guy

MAN: Down on Michigan Avenue.

EASLEY: A fellow named Griff, Griff, was it Griffins? He had, he had a business down here on, uh, Harriet Street,

INGRAM: What kind of business did he have?

EASLEY: He had a grocery store.

INGRAM: A grocery store?

EASLEY: Grocery store.

INGRAM: What was his first name?


INGRAM: Just Griffin? Okay.


INGRAM: Owner of a grocery store.

MAN: He had a son, he had a son that come here, you know, and stay with him after that,

EASLEY: Mm-hmm.

MAN: That was before the war.

INGRAM: Were there any, uh, black women that owned businesses in Ypsilanti?


EASLEY: Well, Mrs., uh, Goodman, Goodman

INGRAM: Mrs. Goodman?


INGRAM: What kind of business did she own?

MAN: A clothing store.

INGRAM: A clothing store?

EASLEY: A clothing store.

INGRAM: About how long

EASLEY: Fashion store.

INGRAM: did she own that store?

MAN: Well, she was right where Griffin was.

EASLEY: Yeah. She built a new place there, fashion shows…

INGRAM: About how, about how long did she own the store, about thirty years, forty?

EASLEY: Oh, it wasn’t that long.

MAN: Wasn’t that long, no.

EASLEY: Uh, probably about—

INGRAM: Ten years?

EASLEY: Twenty years.

INGRAM: About twenty years?

EASLEY: Yeah, something like that, about twenty years.

INGRAM: About twenty years.

EASLEY: I don’t know where the store was, I mean, she owned the building, she might not have stayed in business but she owned the place

INGRAM: Was there any other women other than her?


MAN: In business, uh, other than Louise?

EASLEY: Louise Mahaley.

MAN: Yeah.

INGRAM: Louise Mahaley?


INGRAM: What kind of business did she have?

EASLEY: She had [bull], she had the 310 bar, her husband was uh, was uh, Bill Mahaley but after he passed she take it over.

INGRAM: She took it over.

EASLEY: And she run it, I guess, she, uh,

INGRAM: Is it still open?

EASLEY: No, it’s closed up. She passed,


MAN: She dead.

EASLEY: Yeah, she rented it out two or three times. She already—she owned it up until she—

INGRAM: What was that bar located, 310 bar?

EASLEY: Right down on Harriet,

INGRAM: Oh, Harriet Street?

EASLEY: Yeah, 310 Harriet

INGRAM: 310 Harriet.

EASLEY: And it’s still there, Harriet and Hamilton.

MAN: The building’s still there.


INGRAM: Is the building vacant?


INGRAM: Oh, okay.

EASLEY: She had a lot of apartments.

MAN: …now because of the highway and stuff coming through.

INGRAM: Yeah, yeah.

EASLEY: She had apartments all around there that she had rented out.

INGRAM: Uh, that’s, that’s interesting. Tell me, tell me something about how long have you been with the American Legion? What is it? How long have you been president? Tell me something about it.

EASLEY: I, I been, well, this time, I was the president before, I don’t know, I been in here three or four different times, as, as commander

INGRAM: Give me some of the time periods.

EASLEY: Well, I was in here, uh, uh, sixty-, I think sixty-, sixty-nine, seventy, I’ve been here seventy-one, and I, I went out, and I come back in, 20:00and, I believe it’s been seventy, seventy six I believe it was. And I stayed in for about, seventy-six, I stayed in [to another man:] When did Joe [Sardis] come in? [back to Ingram:] I come back, um, Paul, I don’t know I’ve, I’ve been in here, let’s see,

INGRAM: About how many years, altogether?

EASLEY: Since I been in the Legion?

INGRAM: Yeah, the American Legion.

EASLEY: Oh, I been in the Legion over thirty years. I came in we got in, came out of the service in 1945, auxiliary ladies paid our first, uh, membership fee, first-year fee, was about twenty of us, fifteen or twenty of us.

INGRAM: What is—

EASLEY: That was in 1946.

INGRAM: What is the American Legion? What is it?

EASLEY: Well, it’s some—American Legion is, for, uh, um, men that have 21:00served in in some kind of war,

INGRAM: Oh, oh, ex-veterans.

EASLEY: Yeah. You got to be—

INGRAM: I’ve heard of it.


INGRAM: Yeah, I, I just won—I just wondered whether or not that was the same one that I had always known as the [Keyhole], the American Legion where—


INGRAM: you had a lot of ex-, ex-war veterans came American Legion


INGRAM: Oh, is that, is that, that’s the same one?

EASLEY: that’s what it is, yeah, they started in 19, I think in 1919 it was


MAN: Well, after World War One.

EASLEY: Yeah, they, they started the American Legion and it’s been going ever since.

MAN: I know you ain’t that young.

INGRAM: No, I’m, I’m thirty-three. You know, I just, I just

MAN: Know about that from Vietnam veterans

INGRAM: Yeah, yeah.

MAN: Korean war veterans, know what American Legion is.

INGRAM: Yeah. How many chapters are there, do you know?

EASLEY: Chapters?

INGRAM: Yeah, the American Legion. This one here’s all black, right?



EASLEY: Oh, they’ve got—

MAN: All the time.

EASLEY: Anybody can join, that’s just

INGRAM: Oh, okay.

EASLEY: And we have, uh, we have, when they go by, we have twenty…we have 22:00twenty-eight posts, they go by districts, this, this is in the second district

INGRAM: Mm-hmm.

EASLEY: We have twenty-eight posts in the second district.

INGRAM: What do you do, you know, in the American Legion?

EASLEY: Well, you just have meetings, and, you have, do things for the community

INGRAM: Is it like, is it like the Masons, the fraternal organization?

MAN: Well it is, more or less, but you have to be a veteran to belong.

INGRAM: Yeah, you only have to be a veteran to belong.

MAN: Uh, until [you’re like this].

INGRAM: I need your name, what’s your name?

MAN: No, no, ’cause I’m not a member.


EASLEY: That doesn’t make any difference, he’s trying to get some information about—

MAN: about [ ] Masonic Lodge

EASLEY: He’s a past commander.

INGRAM: I sort of figured.

EASLEY: He, he knows more, maybe more about it

MAN: Um, your um, what, what are you trying to find out?


INGRAM: Yeah, so you say the American Legion is like, do a a lot of things for 23:00the community

EASLEY: Oh yeah.

INGRAM: uh, it’s like a, it’s like a fraternal organization where a group of blacks get together, common interests, common goals,

EASLEY: Right.

INGRAM: common ideas, common philosophies,

MAN: Well, it, it isn’t like that, either. They’re free to mingle with white Legionnaires, and everything else all over the state, county, and everything else.


INGRAM: Okay, so what—it’s, it’s like a brotherhood type of fraternity.

EASLEY: Right.

INGRAM: The only difference is that you have to be an ex-war veteran

MAN: Yeah.

EASLEY: Right. You’d have


EASLEY: to serve at least ninety days with an honorable discharge.

INGRAM: So it’s like creating international peace and


INGRAM: brotherhood among the different races.

EASLEY: Yeah. That’s what the Legion is all about. I got a card, I can go in any Legion in the United States, uh, anywhere. Any one anywhere you can go.

MAN: what the Legion is.

INGRAM: That’s what I thought.

MAN: It isn’t all one organization.

INGRAM: Yeah. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, national organization.

EASLEY: Yeah, mm-hmm, yeah.

INGRAM: geared towards enhancing humanity and you know, brotherhood, and,


MAN: There you go.

INGRAM: and fellowship among people of different nationalities, for the common good of mankind.

EASLEY: Anywhere you go, they’ll give you assistance, I don’t care what state, anywhere you go [ ] if you present your American Legion card,

INGRAM: May I have your name?

MAN: Absolutely. William Clay.

INGRAM: William Clay?

MAN: William Paul Clay,

INGRAM: A. P. mentioned your name.

0:00 - Generational changes in Ypsilanti

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Partial Transcript: INGRAM: I’m meeting with Mr. Walter Easley at 4 o’clock. Uh, Mr. Walter Easley, will you state, uh, your full name for me?

EASLEY: Walter [Ron] Easley.

INGRAM: When were you born?

EASLEY: Uh, the eighth, twenty-third, nineteen-twenty.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Easley, a long-time Ford factory worker, talks about the challenges facing young Ypsilanti Blacks as racism in hiring and layoffs prevented a new generation from getting jobs in area factories.

Keywords: Belleville, Michigan; Black trade unionist; Black unemployment in Ypsilanti; Doris Easley Harley; Ford Generator Plant; Great Migration; James Easley; Lorene Sisco Easley' Ypsilanti, Michigan; Rawsonville Ford Plant; Rives, Tennessee; Stanley Easley; Walter Ron Easley; Willa Easley Bates; William Easley

Subjects: African Americans--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History. Racism--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History.

Hyperlink: "African-Americans and the UAW" from the Walter Reuther Library.

10:33 - Memories of 1940s Ypsilanti

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Partial Transcript: INGRAM: Wow, wow. Tell me, uh, who, as a youth, you know, as a young adult, when you were about twenty years old when you came here, in the 40s, right?


INGRAM: Uh, who were the, the, the, uh, black leaders in the community here in Ypsilanti? Could you name a few?

EASLEY: Dr. Perry,

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Mr. Easley remembers Black business owners and religious leaders of the 1940s. Another man in the room comments on the old barber, Sam Travis, and the three continue to discuss the Harriet Street area business district.

Keywords: 310 Bar; Adams Street; Bill Mahaley; Black business in Ypsilanti; Doug Harris; Dr. Clark; Dr. Perry; Dr. Thomas Bass; Eugene Beatty; Garther Roberson Sr.; Goodman's Fashion Store; Griffin's Grocery; Harriet Street; J.D. Hall; John H Burton; Louise Mahaley; Michigan; Moose Lodge; Perry School; Ray Mullin; Rev. E. Franklin Wilson; Rev. Hopkins; S.L. Roberson; Sam Travis; Second Baptist Church; Thelma Goodman; Walter Easley; Washington Street; Ypsilanti

Subjects: African American leadership. African American business enterprises. African American churches.

Hyperlink: "Bulldozers Flattened A Close Community" Ann Arbor News, July 28, 1996 article on the Harriet/Monroe Street business district before Urban Renewal, with a photo of the old 310 Bar.

19:30 - Ypsilanti's American Legion

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: INGRAM: Uh, that’s, that’s interesting. Tell me, tell me something about how long have you been with the American Legion? What is it? How long have you been president? Tell me something about it.

EASLEY: I, I been, well, this time, I was the president before, I don’t know, I been in here three or four different times, as, as commander

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Easley talks about his history as a leading member of the American Legion and how the group functions nationally and in the city. William Paul Clay joins the conversation.

Keywords: African-Americans and the American Legion; American Legion Second District; Post #408; Walter Easley; William Paul Clay; Ypsilanti American Legion

Subjects: African Americans--Social lives and customs. African American veterans.

Hyperlink: Ypsilanti's Prince Hall Masonic lodge marches in the 1955 American Legion 4th of July parade.
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