Mig Mike, gimme a draft.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Civil rights photos, and stuff from Lafayette's racist past

I recently saw these newly unearthed civil rights era photos, and they are amazing. They're all from the Birmingham, AL area from the late 50's to about 1965.

This is Rev. Fred Shuttleworth being blocked from entering the whites-only room at the bus station. That dude is such a badass! They bombed his house, they bombed the bus he was on, beat him, arrested him, yet he never backed off.

Talk about not having the law on your side. This is the Alabama State Police in 1965. The white mobs in the photos look absolutely EVIL.

You should check out the rest of the photos on that site. They will make you realize how different things were back then and how little we, as young'uns born later, really understand the magnitude of the changes. They got me thinking about what Lafayette would have been like back then. I mean, I know it would have been segregated, but was this kind of crazy stuff going on in Lafayette back then too? It would be very interesting to see photos from then.

Anyway, here are a couple of things that I've been meaning to scan and post for a while. They're interesting for their racism. Nothing as crazy as those Birmingham photos, but still interesting because of the Lafayette connection.

This is a receipt from Buquor's Cleaners from 1943. At first glance, not too much out of the ordinary, except that the prices are really cheap. However, look closely at the bottom. I won't spoil it, just click on the photo to enlarge and check it out. What the fuck, we were in the middle of the largest war in history and black people were fighting for America just like white people. And the owners apparently felt it was important enough to print shit like this on their receipts. Fuck Buquor's. I wonder how many freshly cleaned white robes they had hanging up behind the counter.

I found this in my old house. It's a Valentine's card. It's crazy to think that this kind of bullshit was at one time considered perfectly acceptable.

These are from an old map of Lafayette. I can't find a date on it, but judging from the cars in the cover photo, I'm guessing either late 50's or early 60's. It's weird seeing all of these sites marked as "colored" on the map. Holy Rosary is on Carmel Ave. and is now abandoned. It's a cool place to explore if you're into that sort of thing. The colored park is Heymann Park off of Surrey by the airport.

I found it interesting that even the housing projects were segregated. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it seems strange. The colored project is the one that's on Simcoe between Louisiana and Pinhook. It's a real shithole these days. (If you ever need some ghetto drugs though, just drive down Simcoe past the entrance, go about a block, turn around in a driveway so the local dealers can see you, and head back to the entrance. Found that out while looking for my dog.) The white project is the one that's across from the post office on Moss Street by the tracks and the golf course.

Well, I think that's enough racism for today.


Anonymous nick said...

if you are ever down here and have some time to kill, go to the UL library and up to the Louisiana Room (i think that's where it is). read "No Pains without Gains" - its a grad school paper this guy did about the civil rights battle in Lafayette.

a few interesting nuggets: While SLII intergrated, it did not allow students to put their race on their student registration cards, nor did they allow photographers from the advertiser to take pics of the whites and blacks waiting in line to register. they didn't want people to know how many blacks were at SLII (or USL, i can't remember the name).

There's also a interview with a black leader who says Jimmy Domengeaux (sp?) (he started CODOFIL and was a city leader and state elected official) was a racist. the interview says Jimmy once said he'd rather see the streets filled with blood/walk in blood up to his neck before blacks could vote.

while there were tensions, like a near melee when the Post Office refused to lower the flag when MLK was shot, there were no major frays in the city during that time.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Great Boudenny said...

Wow, Jimmy D sounds like a real charmer.

I found this on him: short bio. Not surprisingly, they don't mention any racist stuff. It would be interesting to dig through old Advertiser articles to find some though.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous nick said...

yeah, he also had an FBI file cause back them them Cajuns was dangerous! honestly, they kept tabs on him and CODOFIL because they thought he was a revolutionary figure, like Lucille Ball (who also had a file)

2:22 PM  
Blogger Great Boudenny said...

Ha! A cajun revolutionary. That would be awesome.

8:27 AM  
Blogger jeanne said...

i think we are all cajun revolutionaries! you know who and if you are...

10:20 PM  

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