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Your History • Your Community • Your News

The Afro-American Newspaper


2519 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-4602

A Letter
410-554-8200 • www.afro.com
Founded by John Henry Murphy Sr., August 13, 1892
Editorial: 410-554-8294
Home Delivery and Subscriptions: 410-554-8234

from the
Billing Inquiries: 410-554-8240
Nights and Weekends: 410-554-8282
Fax: 1-877-570-9297

Publisher
Chairman of the Board/Publisher - John J. Oliver Jr.
Executive Assistant - Cheryl Batts Cooper - 410-554-8222

Washington Publisher Emeritus


Frances L. Murphy II
Director of Advertising - Susan Warshaw
SWarshaw@afro.com
410-554-8289 202-332-0080, ext.111
Archivist - Marilyn M. Benaderet - 410-554-8265 Unequal access to public accommodations has been a common historical
Marketing Department theme covered by the Black Press; the AFRO has certainly written more than its
Director of Marketing and Public Relations share. From “colored only” water fountains and “back of the bus” seating to
Ammanuel Moore - 410-554-8256
Community Relations & Special Events Manager under-funded urban school districts and biased and unfair lending
Diane Hocker - 410-554-8243 practices, African-Americans have always had to fight for what should be
guaranteed rights.
National Sales
National Advertising Account Executive
Lee Randolph - 202-332-0080, ext. 101 Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. We’re a long way from Jim Crow
laws and practices now. There have been many achievements along the way,
Production Department- 410-554-8288
but we are still far from being a truly equal society. Our most recent reminder
Editorial was, hands down, the treatment of Hurricane Katrina survivors. To think that
Sean Yoes, AFRO Staff Writer thousands of African-American citizens are still without homes and services to
Rev. Dorothy Boulware, Baltimore Editor
meet their needs shows that race and class are still uppermost in the hearts and
Zenitha Prince, D.C. Editor
minds of the powers that be in this country.
Graphic Design
Denise Dorsey In 2004, the AFRO observed the 50-year anniversary of the Brown v. Board of
Michelle Wright Education decision with a historic look at the legal fight(s) that led to the ulti-
mate victory.
Circulation/Distribution
Edgar Brookins, D.C. Manager
Sammy Graham, Baltimore Manager This compilation, a follow up to the Road to Brown, highlights the next steps
taken once the taste of victory assured there was more to come.

It is our hope that through this publication, readers will appreciate even more
the strides we’ve made, but also understand the battle is far from over.

Identification Statement
Read and learn,
Baltimore Afro-American — (USPS 040-800) is published weekly by The Afro-
American Newspapers, 2519 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4602.
Subscription Rate: Baltimore - 1 Year - $27.30 (Price includes tax.) Checks for sub-
scriptions should be made payable to: The Afro-American Newspaper Company, 2519
N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4602. Periodicals postage paid at Baltimore,
MD. Jake Oliver,
POSTMASTER: Send addresses changes to: The Afro-American Newspaper
Company, 2519 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4602. AFRO Publisher

2 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


At GMAC we make it our business to help indi-
viduals and communities build strong financial
futures. By connecting to the community, we are
able to understand product and service needs that
promote change, as well as personal advancement
and financial success.

A Letter
We’re proud to be a sponsor for the Afro-
American Newspapers’ AFRO Signature Series II.

from our
The AFRO Signature Series offers an insightful
look at the legacy of the individuals who have
exposed the drive for equality; Signature Series II

Sponsor
is a tribute to those that paved the way for a better
future. Through its discussion of early legal fights
surrounding public accommodations, the Afro-
American Newspaper demonstrates the historic
transformations that we as a country have faced
and overcome. Chronicling these events closely,
the AFRO served as a catalyst behind the develop-
ment of equality throughout this united nation.

GMAC is honored to be a part of this anthology


which continues to share our fascinating history
first hand.

Table of Contents
The forgotten freedom rider: Irene Morgan ....................................................................................5
Rosa Parks: The awakening of the sleeping giant .........................................................................8
Battle for the beaches ....................................................................................................................13
The Northwood Movement Part I ...............................................................................................16
The Northwood Movement Part II ................................................................................................20
Activists braved arrests, hecklers to integrate Gwynn Oak Park ...............................................23
The White contribution to the Movement ....................................................................................26
Students take their protest downtown .........................................................................................28

2007 Signature Series: The Battle for Equal Acess 3


The Battle for
Equal
Introduction
Access
archives by Professor Larry Gibson, who tells the story

T
he state of Maryland played a major, yet
relentlessly at the University of Maryland School of
largely unheralded role in the 20-year legal
Law. He says younger generations don’t know the histo-
battle that led to the landmark Brown v.
ry. “I particularly wanted to emphasize some of the
Board of Education Supreme Court decision
unknown heroes, lawyers and plaintiffs who made great
desegregating America’s public schools. That legal victo-
sacrifices.”
ry would be the most significant step toward the ultimate
AFRO Staff Writer Sean Yoes calls this his most chal-
eradication of Jim Crow in the United States. However,
lenging and rewarding work yet. “It was just really
the now infamous phrase, “with all deliberate speed,”
important for me to get the stories right...and to make
uttered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren in
sure people outside of Maryland understand the impor-
the context of the Court’s majority opinion sent a dubi-
tant role the state and this newspaper played.”
ous message to the states. That phrase consequently
The struggle marked by the pure gumption of Irene
threatened to quell the momentum sparked by the Brown
Morgan, Rosa Parks and others who refused to relin-
decision. Chief Justice Warren had effectively thrown up
quish their designated seats, continued and was ener-
a road block at the end of the road to Brown.
gized by college students who showed up at lunch coun-
The decision created the possibility in theory for equal
ters and downtown department stores; protestors of all
access to education for all, but, Warren’s caveat, “with
ages who assumed their God-given rights to public
all deliberate speed,” gave the states tremendous wiggle
accommodations and would not take “No” for an answer.
room. The states could think about, ponder and analyze
the implementation of Brown bringing the process to a
grinding halt. But, not only that, the Court’s decision had
implications for the road beyond Brown.
The Civil Rights community believed that desegrega-
tion of the schools would lead to a further opening of
American society to all of its citizens beyond the class-
room. But, with the obstruction to the implementation of
Brown in place, the broader concept of equal access for
all citizens also seemed to be in jeopardy.
Once again Maryland was thrust to the forefront of
America’s Civil Rights Movement. Signature Series II:
The Battle for Equal Access, originally published in the
AFRO in 2005, examines the early legal fights in the
area of public accommodations that took place in
Maryland post Brown and set an important precedent for
the rest of the country to follow.
The research for this piece was done in the AFRO

4 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


The forgotten
dom
Freedom Rider
Rider
Free
By Sean Yoes who celebrated the couple’s 54th wedding
AFRO Staff Writer anniversary last October [2004.] Kirkaldy
says his wife Irene, now 87, has been feel-
ing poorly and “is in seclusion by doctor’s
Before Rosa Parks’ definitive act orders.” Morgan didn’t feel well on that
humid July morning 60 years ago either:
of civil disobedience in 1955,
She was still recovering from a miscar-
Irene Morgan bucked Jim Crow riage. Yet, she put up a prodigious
and, with the help of Thurgood fight in defiance of Jim Crow, 11
Marshall, took her case to the years before Rosa Parks sparked the
Montgomery, Ala. bus boycott and
Supreme Court and won. the most recent chapter of the
American Civil Rights Movement.

A
s a young man in Harlem of the After Morgan refused to relin-
1940s, Stanley Kirkaldy experi- quish her seat, the driver directed
enced the golden age of jazz the bus to the town of Saluda,
firsthand, and he has had a love affair with stopping outside the jail, where a
the music every since. sheriff’s deputy boarded the
“I heard `em all — Yardbird Parker ... bus with a warrant for
the Prez [Lester Young], Lady Day,” Morgan’s arrest: She
remembered Kirkaldy, now 80, during a ripped it up and threw it
phone conversation from his nursing home out the window. That act
in Hempstead, N.Y. of bold defiance must
However, his love of jazz was overshad- have embarrassed the
owed a few years later when he met the deputy and forced him to
love of his life, Irene Morgan, on a blind act at his own peril.
date during a sultry summer day in New “When I refused to give
York in 1949. They were married in up my seat, then they said,
October of 1950. But six years before she ‘We’ll have you arrested.’
met Kirkaldy, Morgan had a date with des- Well, I said, `That’s perfectly
tiny. all right’; but when he put his
In 1944, the 27-year-old widowed moth- hands on me, well, then that’s
er of two boarded a Greyhound bus in when I kicked him,” said Morgan
Gloucester, Va., headed north on what was during a television interview in 2001.
then Route 17, bound for her Baltimore That deputy staggered off the bus and
home. She took a seat next to a young another came on and attempted to put his
mother with an infant, about midway in the hands on Morgan, but she fought him also.
“Colored” section, where she was forced to One account claimed the second deputy
sit by law. But just a few miles down the threatened to hit Morgan with a night-
road, Morgan and her seatmate were stick, to which she replied, “We’ll
ordered to get up to make room for a White whip each other.”
couple boarding the bus. Morgan wouldn’t
move. Continued on Page 6
“She was sitting where Negroes at that
time were supposed to sit. She paid for her
seat. She just thought that wasn’t right
[and] she refused to do it,” said Kirkaldy,

2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 5


The forgotten
Freedom Rider
Continued from page 5
Finally, the deputies managed to haul a still-fight-
ing Morgan from the bus, and they threw her in jail.
She yelled from the barred jailhouse window to
some Black boys passing by and asked them to con-
tact a local minister and have him get in contact
with her mother. It wasn’t long before her mother
arrived and posted the $500 bail, a significant
amount for the time.
Morgan was charged with resisting arrest and violating Virginia’s seg-
regation law. She pled guilty to the first charge and paid the $100 fine,

As reported in the AFRO,1945


but she refused to plead guilty to violating Virginia’s segregation law.
Famed Richmond attorney Spottswood Robinson, who was later
tapped to be one of the lawyers arguing the Brown Supreme Court case
in 1954, represented Morgan. He argued that segregation laws were
impractical because they impeded interstate commerce. The “impractical”
argument had been used in many of the cases leading up to the Brown
decision, but the Middlesex Circuit Court ruled against Morgan and she
was ordered to pay a $10 fine.
However, two NAACP lawyers, William Hastie, dean of the Howard
University Law School, and Thurgood Marshall, appealed the case on her
behalf.
Marshall was in the middle of his 20-year odyssey to desegregate pub-
lic schools. In 1935, he won the seminal Murray v. University of
Maryland school desegregation case, and 10 years later, he was the lead
attorney in the Brown decision.
In 1946, Hastie and Marshall argued Morgan’s case before the U.S.

Continued on Page 7

Below, ‘Flash’— Morgan and Marshall et al defeat Jim Crow


in Virginia. The June 8, 1946 edition of the Baltimore AFRO
reported the 6 to 1 Supreme Court decision in favor of Irene
Morgan in dramatic fashion above the newspaper’s banner.

6 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


The forgotten Freedom Rider
Continued from page 6

Supreme Court. Get on the bus, sit anyplace,


“Today, we are just emerging from a war ‘Cause Irene Morgan won her case.
in which all of the people of the United Despite being immortalized in song, his-
States were united in a death struggle tory books obscured Morgan’s contribution
against the apostles of racism. How much for decades, until her birthplace of
clearer must it be today than it was in 1877, Gloucester, Va. honored her during the
that the national business of interstate com- town’s 350th anniversary in 2001. Those
merce is not to be disfigured by the disrup- events triggered an avalanche of publicity
tive local practices bred of racial notions and attention that her husband suggests led
alien to our national ideal,” argued to her deteriorating health.
Marshall. “She got tired of interviews: She had got
The court agreed with him. On June 3, tired of the run-around - here, there and
1946, they reached a 6-1 decision that everywhere. And then she really got tired,”
struck down Virginia’s statute on buses said Kirkaldy.
traveling from state to state. But after her dance with fate from 1944
“As no state law can reach beyond its to 1946, Irene Morgan did go on to lead a
own border, nor bar transportation of pas- rather extraordinary life, albeit a quiet one.
sengers across its boundaries, diverse seat- There is a litany of selfless
ing requirements for the races in interstate acts connected
journeys result...It seems clear to us that
seating arrangements for the
different races in
interstate motor
travel require a sin-
gle, uniform rule to
promote and protect
national travel.
Consequently, we hold
the Virginia statute in
controversy invalid,”
wrote the Court.
A year after the
Morgan decision, the
“original freedom riders,”
eight White and eight
Black activists from the
newly-formed Congress of
Racial Equality, began the
two-week “Journey of
Reconciliation” to test the
new law. “You Don’t Have to to Morgan that her friends and family testify
Ride Jim Crow,” was the to. For years, she invited homeless people to
soaring anthem - inspired by her house for Thanksgiving dinner. She once
Morgan’s courageous act of rescued a boy from a burning building. She
defiance - sung by the activists obtained her bachelor’s degree from St. John’s
as they traveled throughout the University at age 68 and her master’s from
South. Queen’s College at 73. But for all those
When you ride interstate, Jim decades, she never said much about that sum-
Crow is dead. mer day in 1944.
“When I met her, she didn’t talk about

As reported in the AFRO,1946


things like that,” said Stanley Kirkaldy. I don’t
even remember when she told me about it. She
just did it, and that was that.” u
2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 7
When Rosa Lee McCauley Parks died, Oct. 24, as one of the most notoriously segregated cities in the United States.
Despite the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954,
2005 at the age of 92, she left for the world an Montgomery schools remained segregated. The median
enduring legacy of tenacity, of faith in income of Whites was about twice that of Blacks.
County laws made it extremely difficult for Blacks
Black people to overcome systems to vote and only about 2,000 of a possible
of injustice and hope in the 30,000 Blacks were registered in 1955. And
Blacks weren’t allowed to hold public
oncoming generations to take office. This was the context for Parks’
on the mantle and fight the challenge to Montgomery’s citywide
ordinance and the status quo of sepa-
good fight. rate but equal.
City and state law mandated the
front section of a bus be reserved
By Sean Yoes for White passengers and the rear
AFRO Staff Writer reserved for Blacks. If a White
boarded a bus and there were no
In July 1944, Irene Morgan and seats available in the White sec-
U.S. Army Pvt. Booker T. Specely tion, Blacks seated in the
both encountered the overt racism “Colored” section would be
of Jim Crow while traveling on forced to give up their seat. In
buses in the South. Morgan’s ordeal Montgomery, specifically, Blacks
began in Gloucester, Va. and ended paid their fare at the front of the
two years later with a victory in the bus, then got off and boarded at the
U.S. Supreme Court, while Specely’s rear.
protest left him sprawled on a side- But 1955 wasn’t the first time
walk in Durham, N.C. with a bullet in Parks had challenged
his head, courtesy of a White bus driv- Montgomery’s system of segrega-
er. tion. In 1943, she had been put off
The truth is, there were other Black a bus for refusing to use the back
men and women who courageously door.
defied Jim Crow segregation laws Parks would later say she had, “a life
throughout the South before and after history of being rebellious against being
Morgan and Specely. mistreated because of my color.” In fact,
However, Rosa Lee McCauley Parks has the 42-year-old seamstress was also
endured as the symbol of the 20th century the secretary of the Montgomery
protest movement for civil rights in branch of the NAACP in 1955.
America. This year marks the 50th Race relations in the city of
anniversary of her act of defi- Montgomery and the state
ance in Montgomery, Ala. on of Alabama had been
Dec. 1, 1955, in the face of coming to a boil
brutal racial intolerance. when Parks made

The icon.
In many ways, her stand in

Rosa Parks
Montgomery in the

circa 1956.
1950s was the South’s Continued on
sparkling gem of Jim Page 9
Crow culture, known
8 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access
Rosa Parks
Continued from page 8

December. In March of 1955, 15-year-old Black teen visiting from Chicago, was mur- the University of Alabama to desegregate by
Claudette Colvin, who was seven months dered in neighboring Mississippi by White admitting Black applicant Autherine Lucy.
pregnant, was arrested for refusing to give up men for allegedly whistling at a White So, the volatile stage was set for Parks. On
her seat on a bus to a White passenger. woman. that Thursday in December, Parks left her job
In August, 14-year-old Emmett Till, a In October, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered as a tailor’s assistant at the Montgomery Fair
Department Store at about 5:30 p.m. She
walked down to the Court Square bus stop and
boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus.
“I sat on the aisle seat next to a Black man.
Two Black women sat in the seat across the
aisle. The bus filled up quickly at the next two
stops. By the third stop, the White section was
filled and a White man remained standing at
the front. This meant that all four of the pas-
sengers in my row would have to move ... a
Black person could not sit in the same row as
a White person,” recounted Parks in a narra-
tive decades later.
The bus driver, James Blake, ordered the
Black passengers sitting in Parks’ row to
move to the very back of the bus and all of

Parks would later say she


had, “a life history of
being rebellious against
being mistreated because
of my color.” In fact, the
42-year-old seamstress
was also the secretary of
the Montgomery branch of
the NAACP in 1955.
them complied except for Parks.
Blake gave Parks one final chance to move
to the back of the bus before he parked the
bus at the Empire Theatre and telephoned his
supervisor. After being given the green light,
Blake called Montgomery police who arrived
moments later and arrested Parks.
She was convicted of disorderly conduct
and fined $10.
Parks never paid the fine, but the
Montgomery City Lines Bus Company and

Continued on Page 10

2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 9


As reported in the AFRO,1956

Rosa Parks
Continued from page 9

the city of Montgomery, Ala. would both pay immea- zation in August of 1955. About a week later, he
surably over the next year and beyond. And the nation delivered his first sermon at Dexter Avenue.
would be changed forever by the confluence of events Now, days after Parks’ December arrest and con-
that followed the movement in Montgomery. viction, he was elected to a position that would soon
After Parks arrest, E.D. Nixon, a local leader of the elevate him from a 26-year-old unknown minister to a
NAACP, helped organize a citywide boycott of the national figure.
Montgomery bus company. Nixon utilized the Black On Dec. 13, King announced that the boycott could
clergy and Black professional organizations, and by last for a year; but in January 1956, the city of
Dec. 5, 1955, four days after her arrest, essentially all Montgomery rejected an MIA compromise that would
Black riders were refusing to ride Montgomery buses. have ended the boycott. Several days later, the mayor
That evening, the Montgomery Improvement of Montgomery declared that there would be no more
Association (MIA) was born to coordinate protests discussions with leaders of the MIA until the boycott
and negotiate with the White power structure. And ended: it would last 381 days.
they elected the young minister of Dexter Avenue Along the course, King’s home was firebombed, as
Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr. as president of well as the homes of several other Black leaders.
the association. Many members of the MIA lost their jobs and several
As fate would have it, Parks, as secretary of the of the boycotters who carpooled were routinely
Montgomery NAACP, informed King that he had
been elected to the executive committee of the organi- Continued on Page 11

10 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


Rosa Parks
Continued from page 10
harassed and arrested by police its own adversity as a result of the S.C., prompted 13 other Southern get home from work,” said Mrs.
for minor traffic infractions. boycott’s impact on the city’s cities to desegregate their bus Parks, years after the events of
King and 89 others were indict- economy. White businessmen lines. Dec. 1, 1955. Yet, her determina-
ed for violating a 1921 anti-boy- claimed they lost about a $1 mil- In June a three-judge U.S. tion to simply get home and her
cotting law, and King was later lion in sales because it was incon- District Court panel ruled 2-1 that unwillingness to bow to racism,
convicted and sentenced to a $500 venient for Blacks to get to their segregation on Alabama’s helped spark the most recent
fine or a year’s hard labor. By this stores. The Montgomery City Bus intrastate buses was unconstitu- incarnation of the Black Civil
time, the Montgomery bus boy- Lines Company lost more than tional. Then in November, the Rights Movement in America.
cott was garnering national head- half its profits, because not only U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Fifty years later, she remains the
lines and attention on a consistent did Blacks stop riding, but a sig- lower court’s ruling making bus last living icon of that movement.
basis. Racial tensions escalated nificant number of Whites who segregation in Montgomery and But in addition to Montgomery,
further when Black student feared trouble also stopped riding all of Alabama illegal. there were many other episodes of
Autherine Lucy attempted to inte- as well. On Dec. 21, 1956, a little over resistance to Jim Crow triggered
grate all-White University of In addition to the economic a year after the boycott began, by the 1954 Brown v. Board of
Alabama and the state of Alabama hardships and negative national Parks and King were among the Education decision. Perhaps the
banned the operation of the press suffered by Montgomery, a first passengers to ride on the first major case to test the deseg-
NAACP within the state. Supreme Court ruling in April newly integrated Montgomery regation ruling beyond the bound-
However, the city of 1956 that struck down segregated buses. aries of education originated from
Montgomery was confronted with seating on buses in Columbia, “All I was doing was trying to two Maryland beaches. u

Mother of the Movement. President Clinton awarding Mrs. Parks the Medal of Freedom.
2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 11
Below: Mrs. Parks visits an
exhibit at the NationalCivil
Rights Museum in Memphis
that depicts her fateful bus
ride in Montgomery. Top
left: Speaking at a news
conference at San
Francisco State University.
Top right: Admiring a
sculpture of her that was
presented at the
Smithsonian Institution.

12 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


ready for fun in the sun on

O
n Aug. 10, 1950, James
“Biddy” Wood had his that “bright” August day,
Ford station wagon would instead learn a hard
loaded with enthusiastic kids and lesson that would serve them
apprehensive adults headed from well in their later lives. And
West Baltimore to Ft. Smallwood their actions would eventual-
Park in Baltimore County. ly help advance the Black
“It was a bright day and the cause for justice and equal
children were happy because they access in America.
were going swimming,” said All four of them, Jimmy
Wood, now 81, who in 1950 was a (Dr. James E. Wood Jr.),
26-year-old reporter for the Toni (the Rev. Dr. Frances
Baltimore AFRO American news- Murphy Draper), John
paper. (Bishop John R. Bryant) and
The children, wide-eyed and Vashti (Bishop Vashti

IN BLACK AND WHITE - The


plaintiffs in the beach
MacKenzie), would go on to

cases worked hard to iden-


become leaders in their community

tify the disparities between


(see “Ft. Smallwood Kids”). But in

the Black beach and the


August 1950, they were just boys

White beach. Attorney


and girls wanting to have fun,

Bowen Jackson, left, the


unaware of the peril they would

brother of Juanita Jackson


face.

Mitchell and a plaintiff in


“These were children on the

the beach cases, confers


way to the beach — we didn’t

with Dr. Roscoe Brown, the


know we were going to be stoned,”

plaintiff’s expert on beach-


recalled Wood with a laugh. More

es,and Tucker Dearing, a


than 50 years later, Wood’s gravel-

prominent civil rights attor-


ly voice seems to dismiss the dan-

ney who worked on the-


ger, but back then it was very real.

beach cases.
“The minute we got out of the
car, the insults from the hoodlums
Continued on Page 14
2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 13
Battle for the Beaches
Continued from page 13

and they started throwing things,” Beach and Sparrow’s Beach were
recalled Wood, who was the only the most popular “Black beaches”
man present on the outing. in the state); in fact, it wasn’t the
However, two very strong women beginning of the battle for the
made the trip with them: Edith beaches.
Bryant, the wife of Bishop On July 3, 1950, Robert M.
Harrison Bryant, and the venerable Dawson Jr., a Baltimore mailman,
Juanita Jackson Mitchell. his wife Catherine and their three
“Juanita was fiery — she stood children, Catherine, Phyllis and
there lecturing them (assailants). I Peter, headed out to Ft.

“These were children on


the way to the beach —
we didn’t know we were
going to be stoned.”
encouraged her to get back in the Smallwood. But unlike Wood,
car,” said Wood. Jackson-Mitchell and their clan, Marion Jackson, a plaintiff in the Sandy Point case, standing
Of course, that wasn’t the end of the Dawsons actually made it into with children on the East Beach.
the fight to desegregate Ft. the water. And for about an hour,
Smallwood and other beaches in they enjoyed the summer day with authorities ordered them out of the component of the case unfolded.
the state of Maryland (Carr’s impunity — until Ft. Smallwood water. Once again the AFRO, led by
But two years later, in May Carl Murphy, would directly
1952, the two groups filed a law- impact the road to and from the
suit in federal court (Robert M. landmark Brown decision. On the
Dawson Jr. et al. v. Mayor and Fourth of July, 1952, Milton
City Council of Baltimore et al.) “Buddy” Lonesome, a reporter for
“On August 10, 1950, plaintiffs ... the AFRO, along with several
sought the use of these facilities members of the dynastic Mitchell-
and were denied same solely Jackson clan, including Lilly Mae
because of their race and color Jackson, headed down to newly
while at the same time white per- opened Sandy Point State Park and
sons were permitted the use of said Beach. Yet, there certainly was no
facilities without question,” reads expectancy of a fun-filled Fourth
the civil suit submitted in District of July — the group made the
Court. Baltimore attorney Linwood sojourn to the recently completed
Koger Jr., a member of one of Chesapeake Bay Bridge to escalate
Baltimore’s most powerful fami- the effort to desegregate
lies, represented both groups. His Maryland’s beaches.
father, Linwood Sr., was a promi- When they arrived, they
nent lawyer and judge. A.B. Koger, encountered a South Beach for
Freedom Fighter. Juanita Jackson Mitchell and AFRO an uncle, was also a lawyer and a Whites and an East Beach for
Reporter Milton“Buddy” Lonesome were both plaintiffs in the historian. Another uncle, Earl Blacks. Directed to the separate
Sandy Point case. In this photo circa 1952 they are speaking Koger, was a successful business- and, what most believed, very
with an identified man. Jackson-Mitchell, a pioneering civil man and an AFRO columnist. unequal East Beach, they com-
rights attorney, was the NAACP’s executive secretary of the As an attorney, Koger Jr. would plied. The next month, however,
Legal Redress Committee in the 1950s and coordinated all become most identified with the Koger represented them in a civil
the beach cases in which several of her family members were beach cases, and two months after
plaintiffs. the Dawson suit was filed, another Continued on Page 15

14 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


Battle for the Beaches
Continued from page 14
suit against the state of Maryland Circuit Court of Appeals. On
and others. March 14, 1955, the court,
Yet, the ramifications of these Armistead M. Dobie, John J. Parker
cases would eventually extend far and Morris A. Soper, ruled on
beyond the boundaries of “The Free behalf of the plaintiffs.
State.” “It is obvious that racial segrega-
Initially, in June of 1953, another tion in recreational activities can no
recurring character in the Brown longer be sustained as a proper
saga, District Court Judge W. exercise of the police power of the
Calvin Chesnut, handed down a state; for if that power cannot be
temporary injunction shutting down invoked to sustain racial segrega-
both beaches at Sandy Point, which tion in the schools, where atten-
he determined were not equal. dance is compulsory and racial fric-
His decision prompted the state tion may be apprehended from the
to engage in a speedy construction enforced commingling of the races,
program to upgrade the East Beach it cannot be sustained with respect
(a futile effort to capitalize on the to public beach and bathhouse
upcoming Fourth of July weekend). facilities, the use of which is entire-
The state completed the work at ly optional,” wrote the court.
East Beach by July 1 and asked that The defendants appealed all the
the preliminary injunction be lifted. way to the United States Supreme
And on July 9, Judge Chesnut ruled Court, and on Nov. 5, 1955, the
that both beaches were now, in fact, Supreme Court upheld the decision
Linwood Koger Jr. spent much of his legal career
equal and struck his original injunc- of the 4th Circuit, opening the door
as the lawyer for the agency that would become
tion. for the application of Brown in all
Housing and Urban Development , headquartered
But in synergy with the Brown areas of American society.
in Philadelphia. However, he was the lead attor-
case now in litigation, the legal “It is the first time Brown is
ney for the Ft. Smallwood and Sandy Point cases
strategy of the Black community applied beyond education — there
that went all the way to the United States
had long been focused on the “sep- is no question about that,” said
Supreme Court.
arate” component of “separate, but Larry S. Gibson, professor of law at
equal.” (In Signature Series I, the the University of Maryland.
phrase, “separate could never be “Brown wiped out all legally
equal,” was seized upon by the the Brown decision pending, all to education. It was a ruling that sanctioned government segregation
NAACP in the wake of the segregation cases being litigated obviously had national implica- and the road from Brown began
Baltimore County school desegre- nationwide were effectively in tions. Now, with the Brown deci- with Dawson,” said Gibson.
gation case.) limbo. sion in hand, all of the leading The road from Brown would
So, the litigants pressed on for After the Brown victory in May Black legal minds, led by Thurgood continue to meander through
full and equal access to all of 1954, the beach cases were “con- Marshall, pushed for the application Maryland, generating cases with
Sandy Point, Ft. Smallwood and all solidated” by District Court Judge of Brown beyond the classroom. national impact, including the sit-in
other beaches and recreational Roszel Thompson, who on June 27, Koger and the phalanx of plain- movement that actually began in
facilities in the state. However, with 1954, ruled that Brown only applied tiffs took their case to the 4th Baltimore. u

Jimmy, Toni, John and Vashti all were rejected as children at Ft.
Ft. Smallwood Kids Smallwood in 1950 because of their color, but they all grew up to
be leaders in Baltimore and beyond. Jimmy grew up to become Dr.
James E. Wood Jr., who is currently the chief of orthopedics at
Harbor Hospital in Baltimore. Toni grew up to become the Rev.
Frances Murphy Draper, former president of the AFRO American
Newspapers and currently pastor of John Wesley A.M.E. Zion
Church in East Baltimore. John grew up to become the Rt. Rev.
John R. Bryant, former pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Baltimore
and currently presiding prelate of the 5th Episcopal District of the
A.M.E. Church. And Vashti grew up to become the Rt. Rev. Vashti
Murphy McKenzie of the 18th Episcopal District, the first woman to
be elected bishop.

2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


By Sean Yoes College] in 1952, they were already under-
AFRO Staff Writer way,” said the Rev. Douglas Sands from a
cavernous West Baltimore home. Sands, 71, a
recently retired Methodist minister, speaks

I
n many ways, the neighborhood sur-
rounding what was Morgan State with conviction as he reflects on his days as a
“captain” of protest more than 50 years ago.
College in the 1950s was a slice of the
American dream, symbolized by hit televi- Sitting with Sands is Clarence Logan, the
sion shows of the time, like Leave it to man he passed the baton of protest to after he
Beaver or Father Knows Best. left Morgan for the military in 1955. Logan
However, there was something festering still resembles a 1950s Eckstein-esque croon-
on the campus of the historically Black col- Continued on Page 18
lege that would eventually

Brothers in arms: Clarence


disrupt the idyllic neighbor-

Logan and the Rev. Douglas


hood that sur-

Sands were leaders of


rounded it.

Baltimore’s sit-in
“When I

demonstration move-
arrived there

ment of the
[Morgan

1950s and
State

‘60s.

Photo by Larry S. Gibson

16 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


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2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 17
The Northwood Movement, Part I
Continued from page 16

er in image and voice, but both he and Sands were the driving forces “For me, racial slurs were common place; it wasn’t anything unusual.
behind a movement of civic and social agitation that spanned more than It [protest] was a choice to make a statement. The response [from
a decade and predates Brown in 1954, Rosa Parks in 1955 and Whites] didn’t impress me at all,” said Sands.
Greensboro in 1960. The statement made by Sands and other Morgan students was a
However, the last thing on Sands’ loosely organized ongoing protest

In 1960, five years after


mind prior to arriving at Morgan against Read’s drugstore.
from Cooksville, Md., in Howard Read’s was a precursor to Rite

M a r y l a n d ’ s b e a c h c a s e s
County was confronting racial Aid, but Read’s served food at a

established the application of the


injustice. lunch counter. In 2005, conven-

l a n d m a r k B r o w n d e c i s i o n b e y o n d
“I had never had a confronta- ience is a way of life. But 50 years
tion with White folks — we pretty ago, Read’s was like an oasis in

the boundaries of education, the


much stayed in our place,” said the desert for hungry students who

historical consensus is that the


Sands, remembering his days could take out a hot meal (there
growing up in the farm communi- weren’t fast-food establishments

s i t - i n m o v e m e n t c a m e t o l i f e i n
ty of Cooksville. Sands also or convenience stores on every

Greensboro, N.C. But, history often


remembers being spat upon by corner in the 1950s) right at the

o b s c u r e s r e a l i t y .
White kids on passing school corner of Coldspring Lane and
buses while he and his friends Loch Raven Boulevard, just min-
walked to school along the side of utes from Morgan’s campus. But
the road, and making $3 per day the operative phrase is “take out.”
for a day’s work on a farm, while his And of course, Blacks couldn’t sit
White counterparts made $7 per day for the same work. down at Read’s and enjoy a meal like Whites.
But being treated as an afterthought or an inconvenience — like the The first time Sands picketed Read’s, he was scooped up from class
vast majority of Black Americans were — maybe prepared Sands for by two other Morgan students, one from Pennsylvania, the other from
protest at Morgan. South Carolina.
Continued on Page 19

As reported in the AFRO, February 1963

18 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


The Northwood Movement, Part I
Continued from page 18

There were pickets outside the protesters, led by Sands (by 1953,
drugstore, while students inside they were known as the “Social
attempted to be served a meal at Action Committee”), continued to
the lunch counter. The demonstra- picket and sit in. However, things
tors were consistent, and so was were beginning to heat up a few
the response of the all-White staff blocks away from Read’s.
at Read’s. The community of Northwood
“They treated us with so much in northeast Baltimore had a
disdain that they expected that we strong neighborhood association
wouldn’t return,” said Sands. whose covenant explicitly banned
But according to Sands, feelings Blacks from purchasing homes in
of fear and trepidation were over- that neighborhood.
whelmed by a sense of purpose Northwood Shopping Center,
that prevailed on Morgan’s cam- located at Havenwood Road, con-
pus. tained, among other establish-
“There was an atmosphere — it ments, a Hecht Co. department
was expected of you,” said Sands. store, the Northwood Theatre and
And according to Sands, two pro- an Arundel’s Ice Cream Parlor;
fessors were at the core of that and, as early as 1953, the students
atmosphere of social agitation. of Morgan targeted all three.
“Dr. Wallace and Dr. Gill, they “Going to Northwood said
were the leaders of a very active something to the community, and
political science department. They the community responded. They
were giants of men that have not were concerned about their shop-
been recognized. Their teachings ping center. They didn’t even want
and our action showed that it was you to step on their property,” said
possible to make a change in the Sands. “The people became great-
system,” said Sands. ly agitated: they threw bottles,

“You have to remember, this was a Happy ending. Morgan students Carolyn Dotson, Sandra
neighborhood affair. Morgan State Upshur and Curtis Smothers celebrate the end of the eight-
year battle to desegregate the Northwood Theatre.
College was across the street,
diagonal from the Northwood enclave,
and thousands of students were being
That year, the Northwood move- AFRO article circa 1955.
ment was widely recognized in “You have to understand the
denied privileges at Northwood. The
Baltimore. And, to a great extent, dynamics of the demonstration and

students had gotten restless.There


the torch had been passed from how it works,” said Logan. “It’s

was a climate there,” said Bascom.


Sands and the Social Action harassment if you want to know.
Committee to Logan and the Civic It’s nonviolent harassment — a
Interest Group. dogged effort coming again and
“Specifically, the Civic Interest again and again, occupying your
Group is interested in Negroes place of business, sitting down
“I spent part of my day every rocks, spit at us and called us being served at the Hecht Co.’s will wear you down. That’s nonvi-
day between classes going around names.” Roof Top Restaurant and olence.”
campus getting people to picket. I Yet, the resistance of the Arundel’s Ice Cream Store, and And from 1955 to 1963, Logan
don’t think most of us expected Northwood neighborhood was met admission to the Northwood would direct what would become a
that things were really going to with greater numbers of protesters movie theater. Tuesday night, massive sit-in demonstration
change or that later on we’d see a and better-organized demonstra- some 100 Negroes entered the movement in Baltimore that would
national movement,” he said. tions. restaurant and sat down at tables. rock the foundation of the city and
But initially, things didn’t really “Things really heated up at Another 60 did the same thing at even garner the attention of the
change, at least not at Read’s. The Northwood in 1955,” said Sands. the ice cream store,” read an nation. u

2007 Signature Series II: Equal Access for All 19


By Sean Yoes
AFRO Staff Writer

“T
he old strategy would not work. In
1960, they would just sit there and then
“You have to understand the dynamics of the they would get up,” said Clarence
demonstration and how it works. It’s harassment if Logan, reflecting back almost 50 years to when he
you want to know. It’s nonviolent harassment — a was chairman of the Civic Interest Group of
dogged effort coming again and again and again, Maryland, which fought against racial injustice
occupying your place of business, sitting down will throughout the state.
wear you down. That’s nonviolence.” “We have to commit them to go the distance,
— Clarence Logan, former chairman of the meaning they would have to go to jail,” he said,
Maryland Civic Interest Group Continued on Page 21

The General: Clarence Logan, the leader of the Maryland Civic Interest Group, and his thou-
sands of student troops never relented until victory at Northwood was theirs.
20 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access
The Northwood Movement, Part II
Continued from page 20

recalling a meeting he had with Martin Luther King Jr. first took nessing protest firsthand. important part of Maryland’s civil
leaders of Morgan State College’s the national stage leading the By 1959, he was serving in dif- rights leadership. And he was a
student government in 1960. The Montgomery Bus Boycott. He also ferent capacities with CIG. That member of the notorious “Goon

So many students were detained at


climate of protest was clearly got wind of the Tallahassee Bus year, the group had been instru- Squad,” a group of men that
changing in Baltimore and the rest

Baltimore City Jail, that the facility


of the nation. There was more of a
sense of urgency, more of a sense

essentially ran out of room.


that perhaps things could really
change.
“The movement was getting a
little more militant,” said Logan.
Logan is a student of the Boycott that was happening around mental in gaining a hard-earned included Vernon Dobson, Harold
American civil rights movement the same time. “I began to under- desegregation victory at Arundel’s Dobson, Homer Favor, Sam
and an integral part of it in stand that this is protest. This is Ice Cream Parlor, one of the estab- Daniels and others dedicated to
Maryland. And when he speaks of what should be going on — not lishments at the infamous Black empowerment.
the “dynamics of the demonstra- knowing this is what was going on Northwood Shopping Center. “You have to remember, this
tion,” he speaks as both scholar at Morgan,” said Logan. “That was a time when the fer- was a neighborhood affair. Morgan
and soldier of the movement. By 1957, Logan was out of the ment for desegregation was very State College was across the street,
In 1955, Logan was stationed at Air Force and taking night classes active,” said Dr. Marion Bascom, diagonal from the Northwood
Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, at Morgan pastor emeritus of Douglas enclave, and thousands of students
which wasn’t far from State College. Memorial Church. were being denied privileges at
Montgomery, Ala., And he was Bascom Northwood. The students had got-
where wit- was an ten restless. There was a climate
there,” said Bascom.
But the internal politics of
Continued on Page 22

Free at last! Morgan students who had been jailed for days celebrate freedom and the desegregation of the Northwood
Theatre.
2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 21
The Northwood Movement, Part II
Continued from page 21

the civil rights movement were In fact, in 1960, CIG claimed battle,” said Logan. “I guess I and got arrested again.
becoming more complex, and that they were able to successfully thought I was fighting a war some- “The entire Kappa line got
Baltimore had been thrust into the desegregate 114 stores in times.” arrested. So the next day, the
national spotlight. In 1960, the Baltimore City. That war mentality served Alphas went and got arrested, and
national chapter of the Congress By the end of that year, Logan Logan and CIG for the final phase then the Deltas ... and the AKAs.
for Racial Equality (CORE) had became chairman of Maryland of the Northwood movement, We were jeopardizing the whole
negotiated an armistice of sorts in CIG, and in 1961, the organization which began in February 1963. college process at Morgan,” said
Baltimore, specifically with mer- shifted much of its energy to The mandate expressed in the Logan.
chants of the Route 40 corridor. demonstrations in Southern 1960 meeting between Logan and Again, the national spotlight
The deal said that if 39 stores Maryland. Morgan’s student leaders — “We was thrust upon Baltimore. Much
would desegregate, Morgan stu- “We had to overcome the fear have to commit them to go the dis- of the country watched while hun-
dents would not demonstrate. The factor on the Eastern Shore. They tance, meaning they would have to dreds of college kids were hauled
student leadership acquiesced to had to forget about the past and go to jail” — would prove prophet- off and thrown into jail. And like
CORE. confront these people who are ic. other Southern cities directly
“All hell broke loose,” said oppressing you,” said Logan, In February 1963, a crowd of impacted by the civil rights move-
Logan. And perhaps rightfully so. recalling the march on Crisfield, mostly Morgan students, along ment, part of the strategy was to
Of the 39 stores that originally Md., in 1961. For more than a with some from other area col- “shame their oppressors” — in this
agreed to desegregate, about one- year, CIG demonstrated, organiz- leges, moved en masse on the case, the White owners of the
third backed away from the agree- ing marches in several towns on Northwood Movie Theatre. But Northwood Theatre — into deseg-
ment. Many students, not just from the Eastern Shore and in Southern instead of moving when ordered to regating.
Morgan but from other colleges Maryland. by police, they refused and were “I’m overwhelmed at the end
and high schools in the area, were “I got tear-gassed. I had my butt arrested. Each day the number of result of what might have been a
angry and disappointed because kicked in Chestertown. I had a foot arrests grew: from 26, to 68, to very embarrassing situation to
there was a sense that some in my a-- everywhere I went. We 100, to 150. Most refused bail. Baltimore,” said Bascom in an
progress was actually being made. were veterans. We had been in the Some got arrested, got out of jail AFRO article, dated March 2,
1963.
So many students were detained
at Baltimore City Jail, that the
facility essentially ran out of room.
“The tempo of arrests was
relaxed: They had no more room at
the jail,” said Logan, who insists
that about 415 students actually got
arrested during those intense days
of protest. But 343 were jailed at
the time Northwood Theatre own-
ers finally agreed to integrate.
“In just six consecutive days,
Morgan students accomplished the
victory that had alluded them in
eight years of periodic demonstra-
tions, through the use of civil dis-
obedience and their mass refusal to
accept bail,” said Logan.
“Logan, now as he was then,
has always been a civil rights
worker at his core,” said Bascom.
But just months after the great
victory at Northwood, Logan and a
phalanx of civil rights soldiers
AFRO Archives
Scenes at Northwood: Students from Morgan State College and Johns Hopkins University
would be focused on another major

staged anti-discrimination protests at the Northwood Theatre in 1955.


battle: Gwynn Oak Amusement
Park. u
22 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access
wynn
GO P
Activists braved arrests, hecklers
ak ark
to integrate amusement park
For years, Gwynn Oak Park, with its rustic wooden
roller coaster, was a landmark of old Baltimore. But in
July 1963, it became a national flashpoint of the Civil
Rights Movement.

By Sean Yoes
AFRO Staff Writer

“I
magine a kid going into an amusement park. ... It was a
wonderful place for a Baltimore kid. But if you were a little
Black kid, you couldn’t experience it, and there was no rea-
son — it’s just the way it was during those times,” said Patricia Fish, a
writer from Georgetown, Del., who wrote “The Kaitlyn Mae Book
Blog,” which chronicles many of her childhood experiences growing up
in Baltimore.
It was the Baltimore of the early 1960s, when the Orioles and the
Colts were the kings of Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street.
And the great, white wooden roller coaster at Gwynn Oak Park,
which opened in 1895, loomed large among the trees that engulfed the
Gwynn Oak community of Northwest Baltimore.
“Gwynn Oak Park, once a darling of Baltimore, the town’s only city-
based amusement park ... I remember it so well, in that it was not only a
place of endless hours of my childhood delight, it was also my first
introduction to blatant bigotry,” Fish writes.
Photo by Sean Yoes
Fish, who grew up in the community of Morrell Park in Southwest Dr. Chester Wickwire was stricken with polio as a young man
Baltimore, attended St. Jerome’s Parochial School. And according to growing up in the Midwest. But the 91-year-old says the dis-
her, the parochial schools rented out Gwynn Oak Park every year for a ease emboldened him to stand up and fight for justice for
day. decades. “I was sort of living my life with abandon. I think I
“To a second-grader, a trip to Gwynn Oak Park with unlimited rides was more willing to do things I thought ought to be done,” he
Continued on Page 24 said.

2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 23


Gwynn Oak Park
Continued from page 23
was paradise,” writes Fish, but not The first protest against the All
all of her classmates were able to Nations Day blackout happened in
enjoy that day in paradise. 1955. About 40 people demon-
“”Tasha, Pierre and Jerold will strated with virtually no media
be going to the Enchanted coverage. But the demonstrations
Forrest,’ I remember Sister Digna on All Nations Day became an
telling my second-grade class ... I annual event, as well as protesting
wondered even then just why segregation at Gwynn Oak, and
Tasha, Pierre and Jerold couldn’t eventually gained support.
go to Gwynn Oak with the rest of In 1962, the Congress On
the class,” writes Fish. Racial Equality (CORE) asked
She got the answer so many embassies not to participate in the
kids confused by the hypocrisy annual celebration, and they all
and inhumanity of Jim Crow got, agreed to withdraw. That same
and she got it from her father. year, Walter Carter, the civil rights
“Patricia, just as soon as you let activist and leader of CORE’s
the Colored in Gwynn Oak, the Baltimore chapter, was assaulted
place will go downhill,” explained and then arrested for trespassing
Fish’s father. while demonstrating at Gwynn

In 196
Oak.

many 3, the
But by 1963,

who w re we
integr ere o re sti
ation, ppose ll
the la and p d to
segre st big erhap
gated symbo s
Baltim l of
Gwyn o r
n Oak e was
Park.
“My father wasn’t a
bad man. He was just repeating
what everybody else said. That Carter would
was always the defense of the peo- become one of the integral organ-
ple who were opposed to integra- izers of a massive demonstration
tion,” said Fish. at the park, and like the demon-
In 1963, there were still many strations at Northwood Shopping
who were opposed to integration, Center earlier that year, Gwynn
and perhaps the last big symbol of Oak became the next big target of
segregated Baltimore was Gwynn the Civil Rights Movement in
Oak Park. Maryland.
Every year on the Fourth of Another major force behind the
July the park sponsored “All All Nation’s Day demonstration in
Nations Day,” which welcomed July 1963 was Chester Wickwire,
embassy staff from Washington, at the time a lecturer of religion at
D.C., and people dressed in ethnic Johns Hopkins University who a really good friend of mine, I Maryland’s Civil Rights
attire gathered and shared their happened to be White. worked with him closely. He was Movement by icons of that move-
native foods. But African nations “I think you’ve got to hand it to really Mr. Civil Rights,” said ment.
and, of course, Black Americans CORE for spearheading this, push- Wickwire, who is also acknowl-
were not invited to participate. ing it, keeping it alive. Walter was edged as an important figure in Continued on Page 25

24 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


Gwynn Oak Park
Continued from page 24

“In all my relations with him, I have never had a color problem with electric wheelchair (he was stricken with polio as a very young man)
him,” said Dr. Marion Bascom, pastor emeritus of Douglas Memorial through the vast dining hall, the only Black faces visible are those of the
Community Church and a charter member of the notorious civil rights waitstaff.
soldiers, “The Goon Squad.” Bascom and Wickwire were both arrest- But it seems that part of
ed and jailed for demonstrating at Wickwire’s mission since he
came to this infamously seg-
regated city from Colorado
in 1953, has been to help
integrate Baltimore — and
he started with the campus
of Johns Hopkins
University.
By 1958, he began a
tutoring program in
Baltimore jails using
Hopkins students. In
1959, the program includ-
ed Baltimore City public
school children.
That same year,
Wickwire organized
Baltimore’s first inte-
grated concert at the
Fifth Regiment Armory.
He would later bring
artists like Charles
Mingus, Odetta, Duke
and Mercer Ellington,
Joan Baez and the
Mamas and the Papas
to the Johns Hopkins
campus.

As reported in the AFRO, July 1964


Continued on Page 26

Gwynn Oak
in July 1963.
“He helped organize it
[Gwynn Oak demonstration].
He helped raise money for bail.
He went to jail, cane and all.
He put his self on the line,”
added Bascom.
At age 91, Wickwire’s spirit
still becomes agitated when he
perceives injustice.
“Unfortunately, this place isn’t
very integrated,” said
Wickwire, referring to the
Baltimore County retirement
community he and his wife of
68 years reside in.
In fact, as he maneuvers his
2007 Signature Series II: Equal Access for All 25
Gwynn
Oak Park The White contribution
to The Movement
Continued from page 25
“This city did not enjoy a lot of
cultural things, simply because of
segregation,” said Wickwire. Chester Wickwire was one of many White Andrew Goodman were murdered by members of
In the summer of 1963, Carter Americans who fought on the frontlines with the Ku Klux Klan on June 21, 1963, almost one
and Wickwire, among other lead- Blacks in the battle for civil rights. year after Schwerner’s first civil rights demonstra-
ers, were making the final prepara- “For one time, Blacks and Whites knew they tion at Gwynn Oak Park.
tions for the All Nations Day had something at stake, and they joined hands to This week, on the 41st anniversary of their mur-
demonstration just five months do it,” said Dr. Marion Bascom. ders, 80-year-old Edgar Ray Killen, a country
after the major victory at Bascom recalled many names, including the preacher and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan,
Northwood in February. Rev. Henry Offer, Ann Miller, Rabbi Lieberman was convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of
In addition to CORE, the and Eugene Carson Blake, who made great sacri- Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman. u
National Council of Churches, the fices in the struggle for justice.
Northern Student Movement, the

“Regardless of
“Catholic clergy, Jewish clergy,
Episcopalian clergy, Sisters: All of

how many
them were a part of the movement,”

people were
added Dr. Bascom.
Specifically, in July of 1963,

there, or how
Michael Schwerner, one of the most

raucous they
famous martyrs of the movement,
participated in his first civil rights

were, I think
demonstration at Gwynn Oak. Both
Schwerner and his wife, Rita,

that most of us
protested at Gwynn Oak on July 7,

felt like we
and a little more than a month later,
they both marched on Washington on

were doing the


August 28. After the March on

right thing.”
Washington, Schwerner was hired by
CORE officials. He wrote on his
CORE application, “I have an emo-
tional need to offer my services in
Civic Interest Group, the the South.”
Interdenominational Ministerial In January 1964, Schwerner,
Alliance and Morgan State along with his wife, left New York
College represented most of the City and headed to Meridian, Miss.,
major groups who participated. where he quickly became one of the
The Gwynn Oak demonstration most hated civil rights workers in the
actually took place during two state.
days: July 4 and July 7. Almost immediately, he organized
By some estimates, as many as a boycott of a variety store that sold
800 people demonstrated against mostly to Blacks until the store hired
the segregated park on July 4,
AP Photo/FBI
its first Black worker. He worked
The FBI on June 29, 1964, began distributing this pic-
about 200 from New York alone. hard to register Blacks to vote, and
ture of civil rights worker Michael H. Schwerner, who
Two hundred and eighty-three he asked the congregation at Mount
disappeared near Philadelphia, Miss., June 21, 1964.
people, including Bascom and Zion Church in Longdale, Miss., to
Schwerner said, “Mississippi is the decisive battle-
Wickwire, were arrested and use their church as the site for a
ground for America. Nowhere in the world is the idea
hauled away in paddy wagons, “freedom school.” He constantly
of White supremacy more firmly entrenched, or more
while at least 1,000 virulent segre- received hate mail and death threats,
cancerous, than in Mississippi.” He, along with James
gationists jeered. and was harassed by local police
Chaney and Andrew Goodman, was murdered in
On July 7, about 300 protesters, because of his efforts.
Mississippi by members of the Ku Klux Klan in the
mostly from Baltimore, demon- Finally, Schwerner and two other
Continued on Page 27
CORE workers, James Chaney and summer of 1964.

26 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


Gwynn Oak Park
Continued from page 26

strated at the park, and about 100 additional and White protesters, their limp bodies being “This was a victory, and victories are hard to
arrests were made, including Michael hauled away as hundreds of counter-protesters come by,” said Wickwire. “I felt lifted that this
Schwerner, who would be killed less than a heckled them, were transmitted all over the had happened and we had played a role. I felt it
year later in Mississippi (see box). On the sec- country. was a great opportunity for me to walk with
ond day of the demonstrations, an even-larger “The fact that this was going on — the All some wonderful people and try and help do
crowd of counter-protesters gathered, creating Nations Day and the like — it was a shame on something,” he added.
an extremely volatile situation. Baltimore that we were allowing this to hap- The great white roller coaster at Gwynn Oak
“Regardless of how many people were there, pen,” said Wickwire. Park remained for years after the park closed.
or how raucous they were, I think that most of Finally, on Aug. 28, 1963, the same day as With its white paint peeling, it stood like a
us felt like we were doing the right thing,” said the historic March on Washington, the Price wooden dinosaur, a rickety reminder of
Wickwire. Brothers, who owned Gwynn Oak, announced Baltimore’s legally segregated past — a past
The grainy black and white images of Black that the park would integrate. still fresh in the memories of many. u

2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 27


Students take protest to heart
of racism in Baltimore
By Sean Yoes wasn’t integrated,” said Johnson, who was then
Adorned in their finest clothes and
AFRO Staff Writer Jacqueline Heborn, a 23-year-old woman mak-
accessories, they would socialize and
ing her way in the world.
eat during breaks from shopping.
Now, as she approaches her 74th birthday, she
Sitting in those elegant eateries, they

T
he “Tea Rooms” of
Baltimore’s big-four recalled
were like shiny, genteel ornaments of the indignity of working for an estab-
downtown department Jim Crow. lishment that she could not patronize.
stores through the 1950s “Well, it didn’t make you feel good. Even
“That’s where all the dressed-up
— Hoshchild Kohn, White women went: to the Teathough we worked there, we couldn’t shop there.
Hutzler’s, Hecht’s Employees couldn’t even try on clothes unless
Room,” said Jacqueline Johnson,
and Stewart’s — we snuck into the stock room,” said Johnson.
who worked for Hoshchild
were pristine “Even the employees were segregated. They
Kohn’s downtown store from
bastions of lily- 1954 to 1967. [Whites] had a great big room with reclining
White woman- chairs to eat in, and we had a little room with a
“I worked at the soda
hood. fountain. When I firstfew tables.”
started, it Of course, that wasn’t the only dehu-
manizing slap Black employees had to
endure.
When they asked management
about the possibility of changing
their uniform color from tan to
white, the response was, “Our
Black skin would show through the
uniforms too much,” remembered
Johnson. “It wasn’t an easy time.”
“Curiously, department stores
Photo by Sean Yoes had been more discriminatory in
Clarence Logan was one of the most tenacious leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in
Maryland, and he has become a keeper of the history of the Movement.
Continued on Page 29

28 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


Going Downtown
Continued from Page 28

Baltimore than probably anywhere else in the acknowledged historically as the first “sit-in”
country. Beginning in the 1920s, they effectively demonstrations in the country. However, suc-
discouraged Negro trade by refusing Negroes cessful sit-in campaigns were conducted by
charge accounts and refusing to permit them to Morgan State College students years before
try on or return articles. Certain firms, it Greensboro, specifically at Read’s drugstore and
appears, in effect rejected Negro patronage lunch counter in 1955 and Arundel’s Ice Cream
entirely,” wrote former Morgan State College Parlor in 1959.
professor August Meier in his book of essays, A The Greensboro demonstrations, however,
White Scholar and the Black Community: 1945- may have sparked a subtle change in tactics and
1965. an overt change in attitude.
By the end of the 1950s, however, there were “After the Greensboro demonstration took
some signs of change in the air. Between 1956 place, there was this tremendous upheaval on
and 1959, some of the major downtown hotels, Southern campuses. Everybody caught on and
as well as the downtown movie houses, ended we had a breakaway from the adult way of
discriminatory practices. And as we reported in approaching desegregation,” said Logan.
earlier segments of the Signature Series, Morgan “In other words, the students were more con-
State College students had success integrating frontational. They didn’t wait. They didn’t go
some businesses at the Northwood Shopping with hat in hand. They said, ‘We demand this,’”
Center, located just a few blocks from their cam- said Logan.
pus. In March 1960, just weeks after

e re
“Demonstrations at Morgan was like a rite of the Greensboro

e e s w h a d
spring; they always cropped up at the same time

l o y e s ]
emp ey [Whit
every year,” said Clarence Logan,

t h e i n ing
who was one of the

E v e n d. T h h r e c l
e g a t e m w i t a d a
se g r g r o o we h
e a t b i , a n d e s .”
a g r ea t i n ta b l
s t o a f e w
chair oom with
Photo by Sean Yoes
Jacqueline Johnson once served Whites

l e r
litt
only at segregated Hochschild Kohn.
demonstrations, 200
Now 74, she serves as a volunteer at the
to 300 students descended upon the
foodpantry of Ames Memorial United
Rooftop restaurant and the theater at the
Methodist Church in West Baltimore.
most important sol- Northwood Shopping Center, which led to the
diers and strategists in Maryland’s arrest of four students charged with trespassing.
civil rights battles. For several years, he was the Those four arrests would set a precedent for
leader of the Civic Interest Group, which played future charges filed to combat protests.
student leadership after the injunction was insti-
a major role in many of those battles, especially The demonstrations at Northwood in March
tuted. The Urban League at the time was an
Northwood. 1960 triggered complaints from management at
organization reputed to have a strong relation-
“Around the same time, we had student gov- the Hecht-May Co., which cited a 49 percent
ship with Baltimore’s White business communi-
ernment elections on campus and the candidates drop in business.
ty. And it was viewed as perhaps the least radical
would always pledge that they would desegre- That led to a court injunction imposed by
of the civil rights organizations.
gate. The students would rally around that and Judge Joseph Allen that limited protests to two
But because of Templeton’s ties to the White
they would go out and do some things and go to demonstrators at the Hecht-May department
business community, some speculate he may
Northwood. And they would stay there for two store, two at the restaurant and two in the
have had inside information indicating that suc-
or three months, and then, that was it until the remaining shopping area.
cess in desegregating downtown was imminent.
following year, usually,” recalled Logan. “There was the question of, ‘What do we do?’
In fact, a year earlier, Martin Kohn, the presi-
But a sit-in demonstration by students from This thing was a momentum killer,” said Logan.
dent of Hoshchild Kohn’s department store, met
North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C., in The answer came from an interesting source.
with the Maryland Commission on Interracial
February 1960 would interrupt the regular pat- “Go downtown” was the advice Furman
tern of protest at Northwood. Templeton, the executive director of the Continued on Page 30
The Greensboro demonstrations have been Baltimore Urban League, gave to the Morgan

2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 29


Going
Downtown
Continued from Page 29

Problems and Relations, and said, “All decent


people should be served.”
Strangled by the injunction on Northwood,
and encouraged by the advice provided by
Templeton, CIG decided to move on the down-
town department stores. First on the list was
Hoshchild Kohn.
On March 26, 1960, the plan was for dozens
of demonstrators to mingle into the downtown
crowds instead of presenting a phalanx of pick-
eters. They entered the store in groups, but
instead of being met with resistance, they were
met with menus.
“On the day they went down there, Hoshchild
Kohn anticipated them. When they walked in,
they were greeted at Hoshchild Kohn [and] they
were given menus. On the 26th of March,
Hoshchild Kohn completely desegregated,” said
Logan, who remembered how the lack of resist-
ance from the department store caught the
demonstrators totally off guard.
“It was not expected, and the students didn’t
have any money. It was sort of an embarrassing
situation, but they got together and scraped up
enough to order something,” added Logan.
While CIG made the breakthrough at
Hoshchild Kohn, Albert Hutzler, the owner of
the jewel of the downtown department stores,
Hutzler’s, was on vacation. Hutzler’s, at best,
had a dubious reputation as far as race relations
were concerned. But on April 16, upon his
return from vacation, Albert Hutzler immediate-
ly called a meeting of his store managers.
The next day he met with several leaders of
the movement, including Logan; Robert Watts,
the CIG attorney (Watts would later help found
the first major Black law firm in Baltimore and
was the first Black appointed to the Municipal
Court); and Templeton.
According to Logan, before anyone could
lobby him to integrate his store, Hutzler said, “I
made the decision that we have to change our
policy.”
“Then he picked the phone up and dialed
Hecht-May Co. to inform Hecht’s that he had
made the decision. He did the same with
Stewart’s ...’If Hutzler’s is willing to serve, we
will too.’ Hutzler’s was the flagship store,” said
Logan.
Continued on Page 31

30 2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access


Going
Downtown
Continued from Page 30
Essentially, one demonstration, meeting with no
resistance, led the four pillars of Baltimore’s down-
town retail business district to eradicate their Jim
Crow policies, and it created a domino effect.
Between March 1960 and March 1961, 115
restaurants desegregated, mainly due to the efforts
of CIG.
“The children changed their attitudes by their
approach. Not only did they desegregate, but
they changed the way they looked at things.
That’s what non-violence is all about. They
found that racism isn’t good business,” said
Logan. u

2007 Signature Series II: The Battle for Equal Access 31


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