In this WSB newsfilm clip from November 16, 1960, white policemen try to control white demonstrators during a protest against the court-ordered integration of two elementary schools in New Orleans, Louisiana. The clip's audio is inconsistent; some portions may not be completely recorded.
The clip begins with two white policemen, one on foot and one on horseback, trying to direct white spectators onto sidewalks in front of homes. Later, other policemen are also seen directing the crowd. Next another group of white demonstrators crosses a bridge in what appears to be downtown New Orleans. The protesters hold signs and appear to chant. An unidentified protester walks by the camera holding a flag with the letters "KKK" on it. Another sign has the phrase, "Must we shed blood?" Later demonstrators appear to cheer and policemen on horseback chase the crowd and try to maintain control. Finally police pull a man from a doorway and push him against a car.
Although a federal judge overturned New Orleans school segregation laws in 1956, pressure from the Louisiana legislature helped the Orleans Parish School Board resist integration until 1960, when federal judge J. Skelly Wright ordered the school board to begin a grade-a-year integration plan starting with first grade that fall. The school board accepted 135 applications from African American students seeking to transfer to white schools; from those applications the school board chose four African American girls to integrate first-grade classes in two schools. Officials Norfolk, Virginia, which had recently undergone court-ordered integration, warned the school board against integrating poor schools first. The school board ignored the advice and selected two schools in the poorer Ninth Ward, William Frantz and McDonogh 19. White segregationists, angered by the school integration and the choice of poor schools, demonstrated every morning and afternoon at both schools for the entire school year. Protesters yelled at the African American girls and their federal marshal escorts and at the white parents and children who ignored the Citizens' Council's boycott of the schools. On Wednesday, November 16, two days after classes were first integrated, over two thousand teenagers left their classes at nearby Francis T. Nicholls High School and charged toward McDonogh 19. When they were repulsed there, the protesters, joined by adult New Orleans residents, went downtown and demonstrated in front of the school board and mayor's offices before firemen and a police line used fire hoses to disperse the crowd.
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 law enforcement officers trying to control white demonstrators protesting the court-ordered integration of elementary schools in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1960 November 16, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0160, 48:06/48:43, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.