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“Black Houston” Raw Footage (1968)

KPRC-TV

Sound | 1968

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  •  Eugene Harrington joined the faculty of Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 1966. In addition to his acclaimed career in legal education, he was also a prominent gay rights activist, working with the Houston AIDS Equity League, the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, and the Texas Human Rights Foundation.  
  •  Subtle inequalities of city services like garbage collection and the bus system 
  •  The toll of microaggressions  
  •  Possible course of action 
  •  The interviewer brings up the subject of city dumps. Houston had a tendency of locating landfills in or near majority-black neighborhoods. TSU students began protesting the practice in May 1967 after 11-year-old Victor George drowned in a garbage-filled pond. 
  •  Harrington rejects the perception of Houston’s African-American community as “passive” and predicts a growing racial conflict 
  •  The interviewer references the “Camp Logan incident” 
 
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In this raw footage, an unidentified Texas Southern University student interviews Professor Eugene Harrington about racial inequality. Harrington, a professor in TSU’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, focuses on the ways in which systemic racism can often go unnoticed, such as differences in city garbage collection between predominantly black and white neighborhoods. He then describes a possible course of action for change. The conversation continues after the interview, as the interviewer talks about the Houston Riot of 1917. The interview was likely conducted as part of a student documentary about the history of Houston’s African-American community, possibly entitled “Black Houston.”