Updated: Feb 16, 2021
James Thomas recalled that his grandfather was the custodian of all of Downtown Plano. "I cleaned banks and spittoons. I remember being eight years old doing that. My grandfather's expectation was that you will be respected if you respect others."
Thomas mentioned the atmosphere in Plano and beyond in the 1960s that there must have been times of tensions and strife, but he really doesn't remember much of that. "We had expectations. Our teacher was fabulous, and the coaches were fabulous.", he said. "When we transferred to the white school, we had [wonderful teachers]. When we had an opportunity to play [football] because we were black -- they had seen the white kids play -- I was thinking that this couldn't happen. When we got our suits on and showed who we were and what we could do, we got that opportunity, They best players were on the field all the time."
2021 Interview at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church