Blair, Shadrick

Archive Tucson is the oral history project of Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries. This interview is with Shadrick Blair and covers the following themes:

  • - Family and childhood in 1930s and 1940s Tennessee; school and work opportunities.
  • - A brief stint at Tennessee State University followed by Air Force service.
  • - Air Force experience in Philippines.
  • - First impressions of Tucson: quiet segregation. Social life, music, and community. Employment discrimination. Churches, Meyer Street, dancing, neighborhoods.
  • - The Civil Rights movement in Tucson during the 1950s and 1960s.
  • - Hughes Aircraft and their hiring practices.
  • - Tucson’s cotton industry in the 1950s.
  • - Shad’s activism with the United Farm Workers in Yuma.
  • - Work from the 1960s to 1980s, both independently and at Pima Community College; developing a form of instruction that utilized photography.
  • - Urban Renewal and the destruction of Meyer Street.
  • - Shad’s role in starting Pima College’s Aviation Technology program.
  • - Starting the Afro-American Heritage Museum with Charles Kendrick.
  • - Service on Tucson area boards.
  • - Formation of UA steel drum club.
  • - Racism in Tucson and beyond.
  • - Suffering medical malpractice at University Medical Center in 1983.

This interview was recorded at the Afro-American Heritage Museum in Tucson, Arizona on March 26th, 2018.