Schools Desegregate

Published: 1960
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Andrei Gromyko whispers something into the ear of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev during a luncheon at the United Nations in New York sometime in October of 1960. (UPI Photo/Files)

Announcer: At home the cause of freedom meets so severe test in New Orleans, Louisiana. Federal Court orders to disaggregate public schools meet opposition. Negro mothers calmly show the way as their children attend public schools in the face of a boycott but white segregationists.

Unknown Speaker: "Can you parents tell us how these four little girls we have taken must have been a trying experience?"

Unknown Speaker: "The girl took it wonderful."

Unknown Speaker: "Well, what happened say after the first day?"

Unknown Speaker: "Nothing."

Unknown Speaker: "Was she upset?"

Unknown Speaker: "Not at all."

Unknown Speaker: "Does she understand what it's all about?"

Unknown Speaker: "I don't think she does. I think she just -- she is kind of brought from one school to another. I will not believe, I could not believe that they would jeopardize the child's life and for that reason I would echo on that, I would say that I am going to go through with it and just to see if they would in anyways jeopardize the child's life. Because I believe that we have a good government and we are looking to them for our protection."

Announcer: The white boycott of the integrated schools was almost complete. One of the few white parents seeing her daughter to school daily was Mrs. Alfred Gabriel. A victim of the segregationist wrath Mrs. Gabriel was stoned and cursed.

Unknown Speaker: "Mrs. Gabriel where you afraid of the result of what happened yesterday for your own safety and your child?"

Alfred Gabriel: "Well, I don't... I wasn't afraid, yes, I was afraid."

Unknown Speaker: "Do you think that Yolanda's going to school with negroes will actually lower her education in anyway?"

Alfred Gabriel: "I don't believe so. I don't think what a little poor child sitting right next to a white child, I don't see just a little bit, just a little bit more to this situation and so far nothing has come out of it. If you are afraid of mobbing of woman then you are afraid of any mobbing take over and that would be losing your individuality, your independence, your freedom, that's what America stands for freedom."

Announcer: Despite the mobs, the stones, the curses, Mrs. Gabriel knows that America stands for freedom, and around the world Americans cry who make others know it. In the chambers of the United Nations in space in a newly created nations of the world. The opposition is formidable, it's ruthless, it resorts to lives, deception and vilification. Yet as a statesman once remarked as long as men are shouting at each other they are not shooting at each other.

This has been a reviewing sound of the year 1960. These sounds that made history in our time were compiled and edited by the Audio Services Division, United Press International.

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