In this silent WSB newsfilm clip from December 1963, civil rights workers, primarily African Americans, protest segregation at two Toddle House restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia. The clip intersperses scenes from inside and outside the restaurants. It begins with a Toddle House sign advertising "Food you enjoy." Inside the restaurant African American and white demonstrators sit at one end of a lunch counter while white patrons sit at the other end of the counter. While the protesters appear to wait for service, an African American photographer takes pictures, and a white policeman watches the group. A white man, possibly a restaurant manager, speaks to the students sitting at the counter one by one and pushes a microphone away; Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) member John Lewis is seen sitting at the counter. An African American young man stands near two white men who are eating at a restaurant booth. Later a white photographer takes pictures of the demonstrators and a white restaurant employee takes coffee cups and glasses away from the demonstrators at the counter. Other African Americans stand by the door or sit on the floor apparently waiting for empty seats to fill and white employees gather together. SNCC's John Lewis, sitting in the restaurant, speaks to a reporter; his comments are not recorded. Outside the restaurant a white policeman appears to lead a group from the restaurant, several students, African American and white, sing and clap their hands, and an Atlanta police car pulls into a parking lot. The camera focuses on the Toddle House sign again as well as on customers exiting the building and standing outside as well as on another Atlanta police vehicle that drives past. A crowd gathers in front of the restaurant and white men walk down the sidewalk. Through the windows white employees are seen moving inside the restaurant. Next, a second Toddle House sign is seen and demonstrators crowd the entrance. White policemen supervise demonstrators as they walk away from the door and march on the sidewalk in front of Toddle House. On December 21 demonstrators began protesting segregation at the Toddle House on Peachtree. Twenty-one people were arrested; the imprisoned protesters later announced they would stay in jail for Christmas rather than pay the fine for violating anti-trespass laws. John Lewis was arrested Sunday, December 22 and was held with others on a one hundred dollar bond. On December 24 comedian Dick Gregory's pregnant wife, Lillian, and two other African Americans were arrested at the Toddle House on Peachtree. Demonstrators soon announced a new plan for legal defense; demonstrators had all purchased stock in Dobb's House, the parent company of Toddle House, and claimed rights to service as stockholders. They also planned to attend the January stockholders' meeting in Tennessee.
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 during a sit-in at two Toddle House restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia, 1963 December, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1128, 15:46/19:59, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.