In this WSB newsfilm clip from the summer of 1958, white and African American citizens visit segregated accommodations at the state-run vacation facilities at Jekyll Island, Georgia.
The clip begins as two Greyhound buses pull into a parking lot. White women wearing formal dresses greet the buses and hold flags, including the United States and United Kingdom flags as well as the Confederate Battle flag. The women later stand near the buses as white passengers get off the bus. Two white men shake the hands of the passengers as they leave the bus.
After a break in the clip, the camera focuses on a sign advertising Jekyll Island as Georgia's playground. In the background stands a two-story hotel surrounded by a manicured lawn and trees. White people sit on lounge chairs near a pool. Later, the camera focuses on another sign, this time for St. Andrews Subdivision, the African American section of the island. Inside the subdivision are rows of trailers parked beside an unpaved road. Some of the trailers have cinderblocks for a doorstep. An African American man and woman stand near the open door of one of the trailers before stepping inside.
The state of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island in 1947 through a condemnation order. Since 1950 the island has been governed by the Jekyll Island Authority. During the 1950s development on the island followed the Jim Crow laws of the state. The Authority designated the remote south end of the island for African American use with the intention of developing facilities mirroring those available at the all-white end of the island. According to a newspaper report, the only public beaches in the Georgia accessible to African Americans were located on Jekyll Island. In May 1960 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced plans to integrate public beaches along the Southern coast of the United States. Governor Ernest Vandiver threatened to close all Georgia's state parks if segregation could not be maintained. Jekyll Island integrated following a court ruling in the final months of 1963, requiring that the Authority desegregate all state-operated facilities.
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.