Thursday, March 28, 2013

William G. Lowe, First A.M.E Church, President, Sr. Usher Ministry

William G. Lowe shares his vivid memories of the early years of Civil Rights work and protests in Seattle.

Photo: Madeline Crowley

“It was my sophomore year of high school, 1961… The Central Area and all its Churches were joining and walking… down the hill to downtown Seattle. People downtown would see coming over the hill thousands of people… And so, we came across the brand new Denny overpass, and filled it with us! ... We were making a statement about the way we’re being treated in Seattle.

They had maybe five or six police motorcycles escorts for thousands of people. They thought surely Black folks would tear up something, would riot. But we had been instructed from our congregations. It’s a peaceful demonstration. They’re going to holler racial epithets at you, they’re going to give you the finger, and they’re going to spit at you. They were coming out of taverns on that Saturday morning and they’re hollering at you, nigger! Coon!

You keep walking ‘cause that’s not your name. You’re on a mission. And even now, I get filled thinking about 1961, (takes a deep breath, eyes shining), because of the success of non-violence. Because these epithets are not who you are, you know what your name is.

Did it make a difference? It made change, absolutely.
But the change stops if you don’t practice it.”

Photo: Seattle Post Intelligencer
This interview is now available in the book, We Lived Here, published by Chin Music Press:

[William came to this project via Cliff Armstrong, Security Director, CityU of Seattle] 

©  Madeline Crowley People of the Central Area 2013   All material is covered by copyright. Express written permission must be given for any copyrighted material on this page. Email to request permission to copy or paste materials. 

This project was supported in part by
4Culture's Heritage Projects program

Popular Posts

About Me

Seattle, WA, United States
I am not a professional photographer nor a trained journalist. At community meetings, it became clear that many of us don’t know each other. We haven’t heard each other’s stories and don't know each other’s circumstances. This is my attempt to give a few people the chance to tell their story, to talk about our community, to say their piece in peace. As such, comments have been disabled. The views and opinions expressed here are those of each narrator and do not necessarily reflect the position of views of the CentralAreaComm.blogspot blog site itself. The is not responsible for the accuracy of any information supplied by narrators of this project. All interviews have been edited and in places condensed.

Search This Blog Heritage Project. Copyright, Madeline Crowley, 2012-2015. Powered by Blogger.