James Granderson Watkins

James Granderson Watkins was born on February 24, 1925 in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Watkins began working on his father’s tobacco farm during his youth. He then joined the U.S. Navy during World War II. He left the navy in 1947 and married his wife in 1949. He moved to Newport News in 1952. Watkins worked in the rigging department at the Newport News Shipyard for 37 years. He believed the integration of the education system and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were the greatest accomplishments of the civil rights movement.

-Interview and biographical information recorded in 2014.