The Northside Chronicle has paired with Manchester Academic Charter School to feature students’ articles.

This month, in honor of Black History Month, sixth graders interview Northsiders who experienced the Civil Rights Movement. To hear the full interviews, visit http://neighborhoodvoices.org/

<<Click here to go back to the MACS content page

Eileen Washington by Tyeri’c Durah
I interviewed my grandmother after watching Eyes On the Prize. In class, I was very interested in how people in my family may have been affected by the Civil Rights Movement. It was hard to find someone to interview, but in the end my grandmother was a good place to go.

Q) What is your name and how old are you? Where were you born and on what day?

A) My name is Ms. Eileen Washington. I am 60 and I was born in Pittsburgh on October 29, 1950. 

Q) What was your life like during the civil rights movement?

A) I was just realizing that my race was not equal to other races.

Q) How is the civil rights movement era different from now?

A) There is a lot more opportunity, lots more fairness and freedom.

Q) How did Martin Luther King, Jr. influence your life?

A) He influenced my life with his courage, with his prayers, and with non-violence. He enabled me to see love and peace accomplished. 

Q) Were you scared during the civil rights movement?

A) No

Q) Were any of your friends in any of the sit inns?

A) No they were a little too young.

Q) What school did you go to? Was it integrated?

A) I went to Oliver High School and yes it was integrated.

Q) If you walked to school were there people of other races saying anything racist to you?

A) No

Q) Were you scared to walk to school?

A) No

Q) Did you ever protest for your rights?

A) No, in Pittsburgh there was not much of a need for protests.

Q) What was M.L.K.’S greatest achievement to you?

A) His greatest achievement was that freedom could be accomplished.  

Beatrice Williams by Tayja Williams
I did my interview on my great-grandma, Beatrice Williams. She was born on February 28, 1926. She is now the outstanding age of 84 years old. The reason why I chose my great grandma was because she was alive during the Civil Rights Movement and she is a very nice person. She was born and raised in the city of Pittsburgh’s on the Northside. My great-grandma has eight children, but there are only three still alive today.

Q) How was the Civil Rights era different from today?

A) Well now black people have more jobs, choices and rights.

Q) How did Martin Luther King, Jr.  influence your life?

A) He made me feel better about myself as a black person. He made me feel worthy.

Q) What was life like for you?

A) Life was good, but I was aware of the limited rights that black people had.

Q) Were you harmed in those times?

A) No, I was not part of the crowd so I felt safe.

Q) Did you know any Civil Rights leaders?

A) No but there were many influential leaders right here in Pittsburgh. They did wonderful work for the rights of black people in our city.

Q) Did you ever protest for your rights?

A) No but I supported MLK by signing petitions and things like that.

Q) How has MLK influenced your life?

A) He has helped to create a world where I have not had blatant racism happen to me.