Herman Charles Snell Jr. is a veteran born in Magnolia, AK on July 5, 1931. He was married with 5 children but she passed away. One of their children is also a veteran; another is a prison corrections officer; a daughter has a master’s degree; another works in a factory; the other is a registered nurse. He recalls the army being segregated and he and a friend now here in UMCH were part of the very first integrated unit. He had a half brother but their community section of Magnolia was all aunts, uncles and other relatives, and their offspring. There were oil wells and oil fields and temporary jobs laying pipe for drilling. However, the relatives were mainly share croppers and he explains that this was what replaced slavery. It was just an extension of it, with only a slight improvement. You never owned anything. The schools were segregated and he never played with White children until 1946.Here in Michigan there were no signs and they were polite but they would say, “Sorry sir, we cannot serve you here.” If you complained or protested the police would come and beat you. Black and White worked together in downtown factories but at the end of the day, “they went one way and we went in a different direction.” His family belongs to the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. He used Puerto Rico as an example, “You have a country and you have a flag. This is just where we stay.”He loves sports and played baseball, basketball and football in high school since he arrived here on the Southeast side of Grand Rapids, in 1946.