Library Record

Object Name Videodisc, Digital
Catalog Number LIB.1195.a,b
Summary DVD, Documentary produced in 2008 by WTCI-TV about the lunch counter sit-ins in Chattanooga in 1960 for the 2008 Chattanooga History Makers luncheon. The movement was started by Howard High School students who got the idea from similar protests in Nashville and other cities in the South. It includes video interviews of some of the student participants including Doris Phipps, Patricia Mason, Booker T. Scruggs, Robert E. Taylor, Virgil Roberson, Ernestine Hall, Jerry Spriggs, Leamon Pierce. It also features voice recordings and still photographs from a previous documentary on the same subject, produced in 1980, including former Chattanooga Mayor Olgiati, Howard High School Principal Claude Bond, and Rev. Robert Parks, who organized clergy and downtown merchants to calm the situation.

Initially the students were organized in three groups, targeting lunch counters in three downtown locations: Grant's, Woolworth's, and the McClellan Building, led by students Andrew Smith, Robert Winston, and Robert Taylor, respectively. They were advised by Howard teacher Ometa Martin, Howard Principal Bond, and defended by James Mapp, president of the Chattanooga NAACP. They were instructed to be on their best behavior: no weapons, no profanity, no blocking store aisles, and no responding to taunts or assaults.

After the first sit-in at Woolworth's was covered by the Chattanooga Times in a story dated Saturday, February 20, 1960, larger groups of white students from Kirkman High School started confronting the protestors in the stores and on the streets. Mayor Olgiati called in the fire department who used fire hoses to disperse protestors and counterprotestors alike. The documentary claims that this was the first instance of fire hoses being used against civil rights protests.

Principal Bond notes that the sit-ins started in February, 1960 and shortly after that the lunch counters all closed down rather than serve blacks. Most of the student protestors graduated in May, 1960, and in August, 1960 the lunch counters re-opened and were integrated.

Video Credits: Peter G. Delynn (Executive Producer), Linda Duvoisin (Producer), Sergio Plecas (Creative Director/Additional Photography) Wallace Braud (Editor/Additional Photography), Dave Porfiri (Director of Photography), Virginia Kivligham (Field Producer, Washington DC), Joel White (Production Assistant), Leilah Ayub (Researcher). Actors: Hercule Junior Toussaint, Dhonielle Demetria Jones, Deborah Ester Valmont, Korede Ajumubi, Theodore J. Limerick, Brandon M. Mott.

a,b) Two copies.
Physical Description LIB.1195.1: Videodisc
LIB.1195.2: Case (5.25" X 7.25")
Publisher WTCI
Published Date 2008
Published Place Chattanooga, TN
Accession number Library