Dependable Erection

Monday, June 23, 2008

Royal Ice Cream protest commemoration

From left - Mr. R. Kelly Bryant, local historian, Mrs. Mary Clyburn Hooks, Ms. Virginia Williams, Rev. Douglas Moore, participants, lower right foreground Mr. William Marsh, attorney.
The Royal Ice Cream parlor sit-in took place on June 23, 1957. Seven young African-Americans in Durham, including the three survivors pictured above, sat at the white table at the shop on the corner of Roxboro and Dowd Streets, and were arrested for violating the segregation laws in effect at the time.

It's taken several years, but the event will now be commemorated with the marker pictured above.

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  • I'm glad to see this historical event in Durham's history receive the proper attention.

    I'm saddened that the location of this event was torn down by the very church where the unveiling ceremony took place. Their acknowledgment of the importance of this event seems to have come a bit too late.

    Durham sometimes displays a severe lack of appreciation for its history. As more historical structures are torn down, we become just another average city, with no unique characteristics to distinguish us from any other.

    By Blogger SteveG, at 12:40 PM  

  • Charles Dunham, who was originally planning to participate in the 1957 sit-in but could not, due to being drafted into the military, was present last night. He bought the building in, i guess, the early 60s, and ran a small restaurant and catering service there until just a few years ago.

    He did not express any regret at the loss of the building. I suppose that if the Union Baptist church folks make a good faith effort to do more than just have a marker installed on the site, and incorporate the 1957 events into the building in a deeper way, then that will be sufficient.

    BTW, i was able to salvage about 40 bricks from the rubble when the building was torn down last year. They're part of my garden border now, and i'm sure i wasn't the only person thinking along those lines.

    By Blogger Barry, at 1:28 PM  

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