Kendrick, Charles

This interview covers the following themes:

  • Charles’ birth in rural Arkansas in 1931 and childhood in Texarkana, where he worked in stockyards and shined shoes.
  • Charles’ father’s move to Tucson in the mid 1930s, family structure, employment opportunities.
  • Racial politics and law from the 1930s to 1950s.
  • World War II and its impact on civil rights.
  • Charles’ Move to Tucson in 1948. How Tucson High compared to school in Texarkana.
  • Differences in the black community between Tucson and Texarkana.
  • The role of military and Federal contractors like Hughes Aircraft in breaking up Tucson’s informal systems of employment discrimination.
  • Charles’ application to the University of Arizona’s Pharmacy School and the discrimination he experienced along the way.
  • Employment prospects for blacks in Tucson during the 1950s.
  • Social life in the late 1940s and 1950s.
  • Charles’ Army service from 1956-58 followed by his first pharmacy job in Phoenix from 58-60.
  • His return to Tucson and work for the Pima County Hospital Pharmacy.
  • Experiences running a small grocery and liquor store.
  • Civil rights in Tucson during the 1950s and 1960s. Stories about the Pickwick Inn, Fox Theater, University of Arizona, and Spanish Trail Motel.
  • Description of the South Park neighborhood and how it has changed from the late 1940s to late 2010s.
  • Post-retirement career running a series of barbecue restaurants.
  • Reflections upon large changes in Tucson since 1948.

This interview was recorded at Ken’s BBQ at 1830 S. Park Ave. on July 14th, 2017.

Aengus Anderson