Full Transcript: Darla Swint on Migration from the South
Darla: So like now we’ve got this influx of Bengalis and Arabics and things, you had an influx of Polish people and they came here because of the plants. They needed work, that’s what brought them here. The blacks came up from the South during World War II. Henry Ford actually went into the South and brought blacks up to work in the plants because the white men had gone off to war. So they built temporary housing which the Hamtramck projects started off to be over on Nevada there’s a housing unit, a project there. Those projects originally were put there for temporarily. They had one on Eight Mile and Schaefer, Eight Mile and Wyoming or something, that were temporary. They were like fiberboard, because they had no intentions on the blacks staying. But they paid them more than what they were making as sharecroppers in the South. They were able to send for their families so they stayed. And they stayed in these poor housing units till they realized, someone told them hey you’re making too much money to be living like this. So as time went along they had to rebuild, the ones out there on Eight Mile were so poor they just leveled all the land and moved the people out. So we were coming in, we were here and you know there were always Poles here. Basically, like I said, Ms. Myrick will be able to tell you in the beginning for the village the races that were here, much better than I can. And I don’t want to be--show any prejudice, “oh it was just blacks and whites here.” Because it wasn’t.