Reporter: Moore, Ray, 1922-.
In this WSB newsfilm clip from November, 1960, WSB-TV reporter Ray Moore speaks to Fred J. Cassibry, attorney and councilman, about the effects of court-ordered school integration on business in New Orleans, Louisiana and later is seen in a series of out-takes from a legislative chamber in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, speaking about the state legislature's opposition to the desegregation.
The clip begins with Moore interviewing attorney and city councilman Fred J. Cassibry, who is sitting behind a desk in an office. Asked about the impact of court-ordered desegregation in New Orleans public schools, Cassibry begins by saying that while there were problems the first three days of integration, there has not been much violence. Cassibry reports that "damage has not been tremendous" because the city was able to maintain law and order. He cites three factors leading to the decrease in business in the community: warm weather, which prevents people from buying winter clothes; a general decline in retail sales that began even before the desegregation; and finally the drama surrounding integration. Cassibry concludes that business is "not much worse than it is over the rest of the country in similar cities" and that New Orleans business is comparable to that in Atlanta. After a short break in the clip, he responds to reporter Ray Moore's question about the effect on tourism by saying that no conventions have been canceled because of integration or the rioting that occurred afterwards. He imagines that some independent travelers may have stayed away from the city.
Next, Ray Moore is seen sitting on the edge of a desk in a legislative chamber, possibly the room for the Louisiana House of Representatives in the state capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Moore appears to be preparing commentary on the school integration in New Orleans and the Louisiana state legislature's response to the court order to integrate the school system and comparing it with the situation in Atlanta. The sequence appears to be out-takes of Moore's commentary. His comments are not completely recorded, and Moore often asks the cameraman to stop filming.
Although federal judge J. Skelly Wright overturned New Orleans school segregation laws in 1956, the Orleans Parish School Board and the Louisiana State Legislature fought integration until judge Wright ordered a grade-a-year plan begin with the first grade in the fall of 1960. On Monday, November 14, 1960, two elementary schools in New Orleans were integrated by four African American first grade girls. The legislature declared the day a school holiday, and schools throughout the state were closed, except in New Orleans. Although school board officials refused to reveal the names of the transferring African American students or the schools they would be attending, white parents, tipped off by police presence at William Frantz and McDonogh 19 elementary schools, gathered in front of the schools and shouted at the students and their parents. Over the next two days, increasing numbers of white protesters tried to approach the McDonogh 19 school, finally rioting in downtown New Orleans in front of the school board and the mayor's offices. Law enforcement officials used fire hoses to disperse the crowds. State legislators continued to encourage white parents in New Orleans to keep their children out of the integrated schools, but there were no more violent demonstrations in the city.
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.
Local identification number: Clip number: wsbn44757