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San Antonio’s Civil Rights Sites – WOAI NEWS4SA

July 2, 2019 marked the 55th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, this landmark piece of legislation guaranteed the right to equal service in public places.

View video – Conservation Society Executive Director Vincent Michael and historian Everett Fly discuss the importance of preserving San Antonio’s Civil Rights sites with Randy Beamer.  Mr. Fly, representing the Coalition for the Woolworth Building, is also a landscape architect and co-founder of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum.

The Civil Rights Act resulted from the courageous actions of African American students.   Starting in 1960, they used lunch counter sit-ins to strike a resounding blow against racial segregation. From a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina, the sit-in movement swept nationwide.  It sparked a national debate over discrimination in public accommodations.

San Antonio’s peaceful, voluntary desegregation of downtown lunch counters on March 16, 1960 represented an early and unusual success for the movement.  This victory was not just enjoyed by locals.  By allowing Blacks to sit down and eat at a major variety store just a few steps from the Alamo, the Woolworth’s on Alamo Plaza helped create a more racially inclusive environment for Texas’ biggest tourist attraction.  Read more.

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