He had hoped things would be different in Arizona, but he faced many of the same institutional barriers here as in the South.
He was not allowed to swim in some public pools or drink from some water fountains because of the color of his skin. He said his Tucson high school guidance counselor once told him he had “the right color to be a dining car server.”
Kendrick went to UA instead, only to be denied service in the dining hall, denied entry into the Air Force ROTC, and rejected for a college tuition reduction. family – all from her very first day of classes and despite the fact that her father had worked as a janitor at the university for more than a decade.
Years later, when Kendrick decided to open a business in his South Park neighborhood, about a block from his father’s house, he couldn’t find a bank that would lend money to a black man, so he had to build the building himself.
The Heritage Museum now takes up half of this structure, with over 2,000 historical artifacts covering topics such as slavery, Japanese internment, the civil rights movement, sports, music, racist advertising, black cowboys and the Buffalo Soldiers.
Antique furniture, tools, appliances, and household items are arranged to create replicas of an early 20th-century schoolhouse, a pharmacy with a soda fountain, a country store, and a barbershop.