In this silent WSB newsfilm clip dated July 6, 1962, African American delegates from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) convention in Atlanta, Georgia picket the segregated restaurant Johnny Reb's Canteen, while white men counterdemonstrate and hand out leaflets.
The clip opens with a shot of African American demonstrators picketing on the sidewalk in front of Johnny Reb's Canteen, a segregated Atlanta restaurant. The picketers carry placards that read "Open restaurant policy in Dallas, Tex. Why not in Atlanta? N.A.A.C.P." A white man dressed in a Confederate soldier's uniform, presumably an employee of Johnny Reb's, marches alongside the African American protesters. In mock protest, he carries a sign that reads "Everybody loves Johnny Reb's ice cream." Next, a group of white observers watch the demonstrations from a nearby building. This is followed by another shot of African American protesters back at Johnny Reb's Canteen wearing signs that read "12 southern cities have open hotels why not Atlanta? N.A.A.C.P." Next, a police officer signals street traffic to continue moving forward. This is followed by footage of a white man handing out leaflets to white passersby; he withholds the leaflets as a group of young African American women walks by, and resumes distributing the leaflets as more white men pass by.
In July 1962, the NAACP held its fifty-third annual convention in Atlanta, Ga. Although lunch counters had recently integrated, the majority of the city's public accommodations remained segregated and convention attendees were refused service in several downtown hotels and restaurants. Delegates picketed Johnny Reb's Canteen, one of ten hotels and six restaurants selected by the convention for denying African Americans service or accommodations. After the convention, further integration efforts focusing on restaurants and lunch counters continued in Atlanta, led by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR). Thirty-five downtown restaurants agreed to desegregate in June 1963 after two months of sit-ins and protests. On June 25, 1963 thirty-five eating establishments agreed to quietly desegregate on a thirty-day trial basis, although most resegregated by the end of the year, a result of white segregationists picketing the integrating restaurants. Most Atlanta-area restaurants desegregated following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
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Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of delegates to the National Association of Colored People convention picketing Johnny Reb's restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, 1962 July 6, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0725, 47:50/48:32, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.