Northwestern High School Boycott – 1962

Reading about the present teacher’s sick out and the student walkouts in Detroit reminded me of this boycott of Northwestern High School in 1962.  I was a junior and remember picketing in the cold. Several students from our church Youth Fellowship came and picketed with us even though they were students at Cass. Most of my classmates went to school that day, I particularly remember one of my friends said she was not going to stay home because she didn’t want to miss a day at school.  Sometime later students from Northwestern were bused out to the white schools with vacant seats.

Click any of the images to enlarge for reading.

Parents Protest NW pg 1

My sister Pearl in the checked pants carrying the sign. My father on the far right side walking towards Pearl.

a million merediths combo

I am pretty sure “A Northwestern Teacher” was Ernest Smith, an activist and member of my father’s church.

Parents Protest NW centerspread

I am in the front bottom right photo, turning backwards with the high water pants.

9 thoughts on “Northwestern High School Boycott – 1962

      1. Ha! I knew it. Another word I got from my mom, who did not like us going out of the house in too short pants she called “floods”. Seems like they went out of style in the 70’s with bell bottoms and in the 80’s with Jordache jeans and Wranglers but nowadays are back in style.

  1. An interesting slant on an you family’s part in an aspect of modern history. High water pants is a new one on me. Are they what we call here “cropped trousers”?

      1. That’s ok. You can edit your post after you finish it by clicking on the little pencil that says Edit right after date and time. Or am I the only one who can see that? Actually I didn’t even notice until you made the correction and then I had to read it a couple of times before I saw the mistake!

    1. High water pants are pants that are too short for you and show your socks. They aren’t supposed to be that way, they are just too small for you. If I had known my photograph would go down through the ages, I would have found some that fit right 🙂 I never heard of cropped trousers. Are they supposed to be shorter than the regular trousers?

      1. I searched for cropped trousers. My mother called them capri pants…the hem comes to mid calf or just above the ankle. Somehow, this topic triggered a memory of me wearing knickerbockers in the 80’s. Remember those?!

  2. When I was a teen in Pennsylvania we also called short pants “high water pants.” My memory is that we were particularly likely to use it to describe the short pants of guys who also generally wore white socks and were clueless in regards to fashion and styles.

    This newsletter article is very interesting. Students and their parents have been struggling for a very long time to get a good education.

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