In this WSB newsfilm clip from November 29, 1960, segregationist mothers in New Orleans demonstrate against the integration of William Frantz Public School and shout at Daisy Gabrielle and her daughter, Yolanda, as they walk to school.
The clip begins in a New Orleans Ninth Ward neighborhood; cars drive down the street and people walk along the sidewalk. A white mother and schoolgirl, Daisy Gabrielle and her six-year-old daughter Yolanda, walk down the sidewalk escorted by policemen who walk in front of and behind the two. In the background, people shout at the two as they walk. Later, some of the yelling women walk behind the Gabrielles. The protesting women jump up and down and clap their hands; another woman comes out of her house, apparently to ask the protesters to leave her yard. Next, women holding a Bible chant, "Two, four, six, eight, we don't want to integrate." Another woman yells at someone off-screen, "Reverend, we have a Bible out here." And "I ain't seen integration in here yet.
Federal judge J. Skelly Wright ordered the Orleans Parish School Board to begin integrating schools in the fall of 1960 after nearly four years of delay from his original integration ruling in 1956. The school board agreed to integrate schools on a grade-a-year plan, beginning with the first grade that fall. The board then invited African Americans parents who wanted to transfer their children to white schools to submit applications to the school board. Of the 135 transfer applicants, four first-grade girls were selected to attend two schools in the poorer Ninth Ward. After assigning Ruby Bridges to William Frantz school and Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost, and Gail Etienne to McDonogh 19, the board reclassified the schools as all-girl schools. Officials from Norfolk, Virginia, who had already undergone court-ordered integration, warned school board members not to begin desegregation with poor schools. Parents from two New Orleans elementary schools in more affluent sections of the city also volunteered their schools for integration. The board's decision to ignore the advice and assistance of others and integrate Ninth Ward schools caused extra tension among local parents. Many parents felt their children were being sacrificed to integration and resented that the children of school board members, community leaders, and even Judge Wright still attended segregated schools. The four girls began attending the previously all-white schools on November 14. White segregationist women, nicknamed "the cheerleaders," protested integration every morning and afternoon at both schools by screaming and yelling at the African American girls, who were escorted to and from school by Federal marshals. The "cheerleaders" and other whites also attacked the few white parents who ignored a boycott of the schools arranged by the Louisiana Citizens' Council and braved the crowds to send their children to the elementary schools. Daisy Gabrielle was one of the white parents to send a child to William Frantz from November 14 until December 14. After her husband lost his job and the community turned on the family, the Gabrielles finally left the state. Methodist minister Lloyd Andrew Foreman also took his daughter Pamela Lynn to the integrated William Frantz for a month before pressure by white community members also caused the family to move. Roman Catholic priest Reverend Jerme Drolet escorted Foreman and his daughter to school and was also maligned by 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 segregationist demonstrators protesting the integration of William Frantz Public School, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1960 November 29, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0838, 46:59/48:08, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.