As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, the following images (previously blogged about here) highlight the September 30, 1963 Freedom March in New Orleans.
While lunch counters and department stores had begun to desegregate in New Orleans by the summer of 1963, public administration had not yet implemented wide-spread desegregation efforts. On August 9, 1963, New Orleans Mayor Victor Schiro signed an agreement to desegregate public buildings, including City Hall; begin hiring qualified blacks for city positions; and cease appealing court desegregation orders or harassing businesses that were in the process of desegregating. However, only portions of the agreement were actually implemented, and on September 30, more than 10,000 whites and blacks marched from Shakespeare Park (now A.L. Davis Park) to City Hall to present the “Petition to the Greater New Orleans Community” demanding the realization of the August 9 agreement and other directives. The Mayor and other white politicians refused to meet with the protesters, so a week later, Reverend A.L. Davis presented the petition to City Council. Protests and demonstrations continued in New Orleans throughout the fall and winter of 1963, with City Hall’s cafeteria finally being desegregated shortly thereafter.
Don Hubbard at left.
At left Revius Ortique and Father Twomey.
Left to right: unidentified, Rev. Avery Alexander, Solis Elie (foreground), Rev. A.L. Davis.
Left to right (foreground): Father Twomey, Solis Elie , Ernest Morial. Also featured in image – Rev. A.L. Davis and Rev. Avery Alexander.
Left to right (foreground): Dr. Leonard Burns, Oretha Castle Haley, & Revius Ortique.
Msgr. Charles Plauche.
These photos, taken by B. Raynal Ariatti, are from the Louis J. Twomey S.J. Papers and the B. Raynal Arriati Papers, and were previously on exhibit in Special Collections & Archives Booth-Bricker Reading Room as part of the exhibit We March in Dignity. These images and many more like them are available for research in Special Collections & Archives M-F 9-4:30.