Clifton Hyson Audio Transcript

My full name is Clifton Johnson Hyson. My age is 56, born February 6th, 1963. Greenville, Mississippi. So my mother moved us out here. There’s nine of us. I have eight siblings. I’m included in nine. My mom raised all of us by herself, you know, so coming out here, she wanted to give us a better chance and a better opportunity for life. A lot of things done changed since I’ve been here in the Western Addition.

They moved us out of Turk Wood when they was getting ready to tear that down like ’84 or ’85. You could choose where you want to go once they was getting ready to renovate. My mom chose to come down to OC, you know, cause she was familiar with this area. She wasn’t familiar with the other areas.
Being around here in this area, which all the project-buildings, the twelve story buildings in this community is no more. They don’t really put them up with apartment buildings. That’s, that’s for the better, you know, cause the Projects to me, it was an eyesore. You know, a concrete structure around other structures that doesn’t look like that, you know, it’s colorful around the buildings — Everything else is colorful but the building, you know,
so then that makes the area looks bad. Here’s the thing, I’ve been in this community for 40 years that I’ve been out here, and with the different ethnics that done migrated into the Western Addition, that is good. But how it came about — the structure of the other ethnics coming into the Fillmore area in the Western Addition — the structure of that is wrong.

I thought you have a system to where in your community you have first priority for fair housing, but not to us, the original Fillmores. They’re not giving us fair nothing. They telling us, they telling us, okay, I got something for you here. You’re in my community advocating for me to get a place, but not here. So that structure tells me that you don’t want minorities in the Western Addition no more. And if you don’t accept it then you don’t want nothing. Why shouldn’t I want to live in my community? You want to give me a can, and tell me i’m supposed to accept that and be happy with it as long as I, I got something over my head. [Laughs]

What I done learned in life to pass on to the younger generation is to give respect to yourself, number one, and everybody else that come around you can’t do nothing else but respect you, and if they don’t, then you don’t need to be around them.

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