"Do Not Buy Where You Will Not Be Hired"
Floyd McKissick Papers (4930), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.
This photograph was found in the black attorney’s papers, Floyd McKissick. The actual date of the photograph is unknown, but it was found in a folder with other photographs from McKissick’s work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and its Youth Chapter in Durham, North Carolina in the early 1960s. The individuals pictured in the photograph are also unknown.
Pictured are two African American males holding signs in front of a self service A&P Super Market. The signs say: “DO NOT BUY WHERE YOU WILL NOT BE HIRED” with a small “NAACP” in the bottom right corner. African Americans in Durham who participated in such civil rights groups often used sit-ins and boycotts to protest segregation and other unfair practices towards racial minorities. These two men in the photograph were boycotting this A&P Super Market because they were not allowed to be hired for employment due to their skin color. In order to discourage other African Americans from giving their money and business to a place that would not hire these black men, they stood out in front of the store with signs to let other blacks know of their injustices.
Actress Esther Rolle (1920-1998) trying on a dress the Joseph Magnin store in Beverly Hills in 1974. Best known as Florida Evans on “Good Times,” Ms. Rolle was born to Bahamian immigrant parents in Pompano Beach, Florida, the 10th of 18 children. Inspired by two of her sisters who were also actresses (Rosanna Carter and Estelle Evans, who appeared in “To Kill a Mockingbird”) she moved to New York when she was 18 years old to begin a career in writing before she was talked into acting. She was also a dancer and performed with the Asadata Dafora troupe for twelve years before becoming a founding member of the Negro Ensemble Company. She also attended several colleges, most notably Spelman, and was a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. When asked about portraying a variety of maids throughout her career, Ms. Rolle told People magazine in 1990, “I’m glad to take on the role of a domestic because many of your black leaders, your educators, your professionals came from domestic parents who made sacrifices to see that their children didn’t go through what they did. But, I don’t play Hollywood maids, the hee-hee kind of people who are so in love with their madam’s children they have no time for their own.” Ms. Rolle was particularly concerned about black images and Hollywood and she was not shy about speaking up. She left her most famous role on “Good Times” in protest to what she thought was the increasing buffoonery of the J.J. character. She told People in that same 1990 interview, “I told the producers, ‘I did not agree to do a clown show for you to degrade young black men. I ruffle a lot of feathers. And I’m also selective—that makes you a troublemaker. But so be it. I laid a cornerstone for black actors, and that makes me happy.” Photo: Isaac Sutton from the Ted Williams and Ebony Collection at Art.com.
"I DID NOT AGREE TO DO A CLOWN SHOW OR TO DEGRADE YOUNG BLACK MEN"
via Marissa Sargeant on Facebook:
This is my 14 yr old son who was brutually tortured By 2 Tully town officers he was handcuff but they say he resisted arrest that yall tazzed him in his face …not only that they took him to lower bucks hospital with out his mother consent they broke his nose n both eyes were swollen shut these prejudice cops need a rude awakening any one know anyone that can help my son please help they took him to the police station n told me I could not come up there but as a mother who loves her child I did Go to the station they would not let me n at all they talked to me through the door I didn’t see my son for tree days n the cops says o he’s fine we ordered him pizza really? Any one who can help me get justice please comment I’m torn mad angry just can’t deal # HELP