Riots in Washington, D.C. – Part III
The women returned to the apartment building. We needed to talk, our emotions were on edge. We hadn’t looted, we hadn’t burned, but each one of us had returned carrying a bottle of alcohol from the looted liquor store. The random comments we tossed around were mirrored reflections of both our confusion and our innermost thoughts…..
"Can you believe this…the cops and the National Guard?"
"Wonder if they live in the neighborhood?"
"At least they left Manny’s alone.."
"That’s because the fellows were there…maybe"
"The fellows couldn’t have stopped that mob if they had really wanted to bust out Manny’s.."
"I don’t like this martial law nonsense…do you really think they would have shot us?"
"Hell yes, they would have shot us…we’re BLACK and they think all of us are looting.."
"The guy on the corner got busted because he has such a nasty attitude…plus he overcharges on everything… he and doing right are not acquainted…"
"Why do you think 14th Street got burned out? Almost everybody I know shopped there. Couple of those businesses were black-owned."
"You ever been in that grocery store at 14th and Clifton? The meat in there is spoiled rotten…you can smell it from the doorway…"
"You know…I heard they truck in that bad meat from the suburban stores…our store is not like that…"
"Course our store isn’t, we pay more rent than the folks in the apartments at 14th and Clifton…"
"There’s more white people in this neighborhood…the only white people on Clifton are those two guys who teach at Cardozo….those Peace Corps teachers…"
"How long is this sh*t going to last…if I don’t go to work, I don’t get paid…"
"You and everybody else…"
"Are the fellows back yet?"
"Don’t think they are coming til morning..Somebody else might try hitting Manny’s…"
"With Dr. King dead,,,,who’s gonna’ lead the Movement?"
"You got through to your folks yet…I can’t get a call outside the area"
"You got an extra pillow…and a blanket…I’m not staying in that apartment by myself..I’m sleeping here til Baby gets back…"
We all stayed in one apartment that night.