In this WSB newsfilm clip from April 19, 1960 an unidentified reporter interviews civil rights lawyer and city councilman Z. Alexander Looby after his home in Nashville, Tennessee was bombed.
The clip begins in the middle of the reporter's question to Z. Alexander Looby about the increased racial tension in Southern cities caused by student-led sit-ins. Looby recognizes that some communities, including Nashville, have experienced heightened racial tension since the sit-ins began in February. However, he attributes the bombing of his home to "the hoodlum element in our community," declaring it an isolated incident. Asked if the sit-ins and other civil rights direct action has been worth the growth of racial tension and the threat of violence and mob action, Looby expresses his hope that there will not be violence and asserts that the movement is worth the risk of "some possible violence." He cautions that African Americans no longer accept continued segregation despite fears of possible violence.
The home of Nashville city councilman Z. Alexander Looby was bombed early in the morning of April 19, 1960. Looby and his wife were not harmed in the attack. Looby, a lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), served as chief council for the 153 Nashville students that had been arrested in the two months of sit-in demonstrations. The bomb caused damage to other homes in the neighborhood and blew out nearly one hundred fifty windows in Meharry Medical College across the street. In response to the bombing, over two thousand African Americans marched downtown to city hall to protest police failure to halt racial violence where Nashville mayor Ben West met the protestors. In response to a question by movement leader Diane Nash, mayor West said he favored ending segregation at lunch counters downtown. Community leaders reached an agreement to begin desegregating Nashville lunch counters May 10. According to newspaper reports, as of June 25, police had not arrested anyone in connection of the Looby bombing.
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.