Sound recording digitized from audiocassette of an interview with Clarence W. Sinkfield by Hugh L. Gordon and Randall Patton, Professor of History at Kennesaw State University. Sinkfield discusses his childhood in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Atlanta and his education from elementary school to his graduation from Hampton University in 1963. Hired at the Marietta location of Lockheed as an assembly helper in 1965, Mr. Sinkfield talks about the informal integration of the production line at the plant, racial inequalities, and his promotion to supervisor of the aft section of the C-141 in 1969. He was also named a plaintiff in the class action lawsuit, Reid v. Lockheed Martin Company, in 1999. The suit claimed racial discrimination in the promotion of employees to management. Sinkfield retired from Lockheed in 2000 as an assistant manager.
There appears to be a third, unidentified person interviewing Mr. Sinkfield.; Clarence W. Sinkfield was born on June 26, 1940, in Grady Hospital to Aaron and Elizabeth Sinkfield. He grew up in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Atlanta, where is father worked as a cook on the railroad and his mother worked at a cleaners, specializing in silk finishes. He attended W. H. Crogman Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School, graduating from the newly completed Price High School in 1958. He attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, and majored in engineering. Sinkfield left school for 6 months to care for his mother. When he returned, he changed his major to business, graduating in 1963. Mr. Sinkfield worked as a teacher for a year in Washington, D.C. before returning to Atlanta. He was hired by Lockheed in May 1965 as an assembly helper. In 1969, Sinkfield was made a supervisor of the aft section for the C-141. In 1999, Mr. Sinkfield joined the class action lawsuit, Reid v. Lockheed Martin Co., which alleged discrimination in the promotion process. He retired from Lockheed in 2000 having reached the position of assistant manager.
Interview with Clarence W. Sinkfield, 2004-03-10, Hugh L. Gordon Papers, 1951-2009, Gordon, Kruse, Wentzel Collection, 1951-2010, SC/G/002, Kennesaw State University Archives
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