Reporter: Moore, Ray, 1922-.
In this WSB newsfilm clip from November 1960, Atlanta reporter Ray Moore interviews New Orleans Police Chief Joseph Giarrusso, Mayor DeLesseps Morrison, and the Gabrielle family, and the camera focuses on images of the community of New Orleans, Louisiana.
The clip begins with New Orleans Police Chief Joseph Giarrusso sitting in an office being interviewed; reporter Ray Moore speaks to Giarrusso off-screen. Giarrusso explains that following a large demonstration against court-ordered school desegregation, the police barricaded an area and did not arrest demonstrators. Giarrusso explains the need to be "cognizant of community sentiment and feeling" and for the need "to be patient and tolerant with both elements if we are going to succeed."
After a break in the clip, reporter Ray Moore is seen sitting in a home with a white family, James and Daisy Gabrielle and their first-grade daughter, Yolanda. Moore asks Daisy when she decided to take Yolanda to the integrated William Frantz Public School. Daisy explains that after the week-long Thanksgiving holiday, she decided to send Yolanda to the integrated school, even though she was scared, because she believed it was the right thing to do. The clip breaks again, and Moore asks James Gabrielle if he had anticipated his job loss and the community's strongly negative reaction to sending Yolanda to an integrated school. Gabrielle admits that he expected the neighbors would disapprove of the action, but decided it was more important to send his daughter to school than to keep his job. Moore speaks briefly to Yolanda who indicates that she has enjoyed school and has not felt scared. Moore begins to ask Daisy another question, but a break in the clip cuts him off and returns in the middle of Daisy's response to his question.
Next, Moore asks James if he and his wife had discussed the possible effects of sending Yolanda to an integrated school. James reports that they talked things over with Yolanda, and she said she wanted to go to Frantz school. The decided to send her to school rather than remover her. If needed, they would permit her to take a few days off. Responding to another question, James affirms his belief in the importance of education.
The clip breaks again and returns to Daisy responding to a question about the public's reaction to her choice. Daisy reports that while she has received a few crank letters, she has also received hundreds of letters of support from all over the country. Moore then asks James about his job; following a lot of pressure at work, James quit his job and began looking for another in New Orleans. He indicates that he would like to keep his family in New Orleans, but if he cannot find another job, he will move to Rhode Island. He explains that he grew up in Rhode Island and that his family still lives there. The camera focuses on the family for a few moments after the interview ends.
After a black screen, Moore is seen in another office interviewing New Orleans Mayor deLesseps Morrison. Moore begins to ask a question about the November 16 demonstration, but the question is interrupted by a break in the clip. When the clip returns, Mayor Morrison talks about the demonstration, explaining that a large group of teenagers gathered in front of city hall and then moved on to the school board office. Although the demonstrators were fairly calm at city hall, in part because of the police presence, they grew more rowdy at the school board office. Morrison reports that police used hoses to control the demonstration. After another break in the clip, Morrison goes on to say that the city did not allow the Citizens' Council from Jefferson to demonstrate later that week because the city felt protesters had abused the right to peacefully demonstrate. Also, recent events had overt-taxed the police force. Morrison also speaks of trying to arrest leaders of the demonstrations, but authorities found that the group did not have a true leadership structure.
After a final break, the clip shows several images from around town. First, the camera focuses on an unidentified school building with cars parked out front and others driving past. Second, a policeman walks along a sidewalk in a neighborhood of block-style apartment buildings. Finally the clip shows a night shot of downtown New Orleans in the Canal Street business district. Among the street lights are signs for the Holmes Department Store.
In 1956, federal Judge J. Skelly Wright overturned the New Orleans school segregation laws. After several years of resistance by the Orleans Parish School Board and the Louisiana state legislature, Judge Wright ordered the school board to begin desegregating the first grade in the fall of 1960. White protesters, angered by the court-ordered integration which took place November 14, demonstrated in downtown New Orleans on November 16 and were eventually turned back by policemen using hoses. James and Daisy Gabrielle, a white couple living in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, resisted the Citizens' Council's boycott of the integrated schools and sent their daughter Yolanda to William Frantz elementary school. Pressure, anger, and resentment from the community James to quit his job and to move the family to Rhode Island in December 1960. By the time the family moved, they were so afraid for their safety that they traveled in two groups.
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.
|Rights and Usage:|
Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of interviews with Police Chief Joseph Giarrusso, the Gabrielle family, and Mayor deLesseps Morrison as well as images of the community of New Orleans, Louisiana, 1960 November, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0251, 25:00/35:41, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.