The image found in the Yackety Yack yearbook of 1964 depicts protestors walking down Franklin street with banners and posters about desegregation, boycotts, and freedom (Yackety Yack). Two posters in particular mention the College Café. One poster says, “Boycott the College Café” while another banner mentions the College Café, but it is not clear what the other words state on the poster, we can infer they were accusing the restaurant industry of segregation. Other posters say, “Open Our Future”, “Stand Up for Freedom”, and “We Have Forgotten.” A poster in the very back of the crown mentions “EAT”, but the other words are not visible. This photo in UNC Chapel Hill’s yearbook reveals the connection between Civil Rights movements, food, and restaurants in Chapel Hill (Yackety Yack).
The integration of both the Varsity and the Carolina Theater in Chapel Hill 1961 set the stage for the desegregation demonstrations of 1963 to 1964 that reached every part of Chapel Hill and the University. This period was marked by heavy involvement of a small corps of UNC students, in partnership with church leaders, community activists, and a handful of University Professors, along with many leaders and participants from the African American community. UNC student Patrick Cusick, represents the Student Peace Union, and in April 1963 began a solitary picket of the College Café on Franklin Street. This solitary picket was in response to Chapel Hill’s popular establishment College Café that did not serve black individuals (“Integration Sit-Ins”).
In addition, The Daily Tar Heel newspaper covers the picketing of the College Café in Chapel Hill titled, “To Lobdell: Try being a ‘Nigger.’” Mr. Lobdell stated his opposition to SPU picketing of the College Café. Lobdell asked two questions: “What makes the members of the Student Peace Union think they have the knowledge to tell a successful businessman how to run his business?” and “What right do they have to suggest anything to any person?” In response to these questions, The Daily Tar Heel said that the SPU is not just telling a businessman how to run his business, rather, the SPU is advertising the fact that the owner of the College Café practices discrimination against certain UNC students. The SPU is also inviting Lobdell to join the twentieth century and to recognize that Negroes are human beings. This section in the newspaper is useful to tell the context of the photo above in the UNC Chapel Hill yearbook. (The Daily Tar Heel)
The image from UNC Chapel Hill’s yearbook shows students and people in the town of Chapel Hill fighting for equal rights down Franklin Street. It is clear that equal rights in diners and restaurants plays a major role in the Civil Rights movement as photographic evidence is included in a university’s yearbook. In the photo at least four posters have something to do with food and boycotting those place that treat people unequally. The Daily Tar Heel report on the College Café explains how important the students in Chapel Hill value equal rights and how important the connection between people and food is. The newspaper article and information regarding the photograph found in the Yackety Yack tell the story of how students feel connected to each other on campus through food and boycott restaurants in the area to overcome inequality.
- Yackety Yack. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. https://library.digitalnc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/yearbooks/id/846/rec/1.
Tate, Jack. 1963. “To Lobdell: Try Being A ‘Nigger.’” The Daily Tar Heel, May 3, 1963. https://www.newspapers.com/image/67850299.
n.d. “Integration Sit-Ins.” Exhibits. UNC Libraries. Accessed November 5, 2017. https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/protest/sitin-essay.