In this WSB newsfilm clip from September 23, 1968, demonstrators protest segregation policies at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the Young Women's Christian Organization (YWCO) in Athens, Georgia.
The clip begins with demonstrators holding picket signs walking along the sidewalk. The demonstrators are dressed is suits and dresses. Most of the demonstrators are white. A white policeman watches the demonstrators as they march. One of the picket signs has the slogan "Y Athens doesn't advance," and another reads "Integrate the Athens' Y's." Later an African American woman and her children walk down the sidewalk past the demonstrators. Two men walk past white columns and into a building. The demonstrators are again seen walking away from the camera.
Next, reporters interview one of the demonstrators. He explains that the Community Chest, an Athens-area fundraising organization, does not plan on encouraging the YMCA and the YWCO to integrate. He further reports that neither of the organizations plan to allow African American members. Asked about evidence of discrimination, the man reports that his group has received signed statements by African Americans who have tried to apply for membership to the YMCA or the YWCO and have been turned away because of their race.
Although the national national YMCA board established a policy of integration in 1946, in 1968 the Athens, Georgia YMCA and YWCO remained segregated. Professors from the University of Georgia instituted a boycott of the 1968 fundraising campaign of the Community Chest. The Community Chest, a philanthropic organization that collected donations for several area groups including the Red Cross and the Boy and Girl Scouts, had said it would not withdraw support from the segregated YMCA and YWCO. The YMCA and YWCO refused to change their policies. The boycott of the Community Chest caused the organization to miss its monetary goal by over $45,000. The following year in July 1969 the YMCA and YWCO announced that they would admit all applicants regardless of race.
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.