In this silent WSB newsfilm clip from May 20, 1963, white and African American students demonstrate against segregation at Leb's Restaurant and later S & W Cafeteria in Atlanta, Georgia. The clip is divided into two segments. The first segment, which is about 3 minutes long, begins with African American students and a white man pushing against each other in front of Leb's Restaurant as they are watched by a white audience standing in front of a service building across the street. An agitated, white Atlanta police officer and Charles Leb, the restaurant's owner, speak to the demonstrating students. The camera focuses on a broken window held together with tape and a cigarette burn in fabric. Scenes of the white audience across the street are interspersed with those of the demonstrators standing in front of the restaurant's door. A white student speaks to someone inside the restaurant before standing in front of the door with an interracial group of students who were pushed out of the building. At one point a black student is knocked over as the open door pushes him back. A policeman approaches the door and goes inside the restaurant. The clip ends showing the Leb's Restaurant sign and a man leading the demonstrators across the street.
The second clip segment, which is about one minute long, begins with a two young men, one white and the other African American, standing in the doorway of Leb's. A white young woman stands behind the men. Cameramen taking pictures and film of the demonstrators are seen in the background. The students try to speak to someone through an open door and are pushed out when they try to enter the restaurant. One of the white men keeping them out appears to punch a demonstrator. Leb and the white man beside him shove the demonstrators when they try to push their way inside. One of the demonstrators, an African American young man, is knocked to the ground and covers his head with his arms to protect it. Next, the interracial group walks down the sidewalk; a white young man and an African American young woman walk beside each other. The group approaches the S & W Cafeteria and are again shoved away when the try to enter through the glass door. Later a man is seen through the window taping a crack in the lower half of the glass door. Finally the demonstrators walk away together.
On March 9, 1960 students at the Atlanta University Center issued "An Appeal for Human Rights" citing segregation and discrimination in seven areas of the city; student-led sit-ins and other demonstrations began later that week. The Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR), organized by students that March, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a national organization created in May of that year, led a significant number of the Atlanta demonstrations. Negotiations ended sit-ins in March 1961 on the condition that lunch counters integrate shortly after Atlanta schools desegregated in September. A second phase of the direct-action movement began in the spring of 1963 when students again began protesting segregated hotels and eating facilities. On May 20 students protested for over four hours at Leb's restaurant where an African American demonstrator claimed an employee threw him to the ground; court officials refused to issue a warrant against the employee for assault and battery because a policeman standing nearby had watched the exchange and had not agreed to file charges. Although the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors unanimously requested on May 30 that all businesses serving the public desegregate their facilities, most merchants ignored the request. On June 20, 1963 fifty restaurant owners reached an unofficial agreement with African American leaders for complete desegregation of facilities although most of the restaurants resegregated by the end of the year. Leb's restaurant integrated in July 1964 following the passage of the Civil Rights Act as did many of the other restaurants 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.
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Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of civil rights workers protesting segregation at Leb's Restaurant and S & W Cafeteria in Atlanta, Georgia, 1963 May 20, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1090, 25:17/28:11, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.