Interviewer: Madison Davis Lacy, Jr.
Production Team: A
Interview Date: June 2, 1989
Camera Rolls: 1106
Sound Rolls: 148
Produced by Blackside, Inc.
Housed at the Washington University Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection.
Interview with Albert Johnson, conducted by Blackside, Inc. on June 2, 1989, for Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads 1965 to 1985. Washington University Libraries, Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection.
These transcripts contain material that did not appear in the final program. Only text appearing in bold italics was used in the final version of Eyes on the Prize.
So, you were telling, like, you'd be out side playing ball with your buddies and your parents be inside talking politics and you go in and tell me about that.
Well my mother and father, sisters and brothers, they be inside and, ah, the news media cover, ah, Harold Washington on television, going out and campaigning at the time and stuff in different environments and communities. And I sit there and watch and, you know, they be discussing, you know it'll be our first Black mayor and that's going to be our mayor, there, Harold Washington, stuff like that. And I just there and observe and listen. And I say, ah, to my mother, "Ma, I was out helping, ah, some of the peoples out there, putting up signs and posters and stuff like that." She said, "Yeah." And I says, "Yeah, no more continuing on until you win," stuff like that, so, you know. I was out, you know, 2 o'clock in the morning putting up signs on light poles and buildings and stuff like that. It was fun, you know, and--
Well what did she think about your being out late and having to run that kind of thing?
Well my brother was a precinct captain at the time so, well, you know, he was out there too, so she figured he was, ah, had a watch on me and stuff like that. And then again, she trusted me. I guess she was, ah, so, you know, into it about Harold Washington, I guess she didn't mind, so, you know.
What did it mean to you personally to be involved?
It meant history: Harold Washington going to be the first Black mayor of the city of Chicago. So, I was going to be a part of history at that time. So, you know.
I hear that. On election day, what did you do? Did you buddies come out?
Ah, I encouraged some of my bu--buddies come on out and help us, ah, be, a runner. We, ah, participated in the caravan that has the bullhorn on it, going around. I got a chance to talk on that, so that was fun. I was saying, "Come on out and vote and punch," you know, "Harold Washington's number" at the time, which I forget. But, ah, you know it was fun and we'd go down and help senior citizen come out to the poll and stuff like that. So, I was, ah, you know, really involved in it at the time.
OK, do that for me again and this time tell me, when you were posting up things, that you wanted to paint the town blue. They're never going to hear my question so don't worry about it. So, what were you doing on election day? What happened on election day?
We just went out and, ah, we wanted to post a whole, a whole city just about, ah, in every ward that, ah, we seen Harold had a heavy support of voters, we just posted up signs and made the whole area blue with Harold Washington posters.
Stop down. Good. Excellent. Thank you very, very much.