Video Librarian Review

January – February 2016 , Volume 31, Number 1

While the 1960 sit-in protests at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro NC, marked a milestone in the Civil Rights movement, it was actually ┬ánot the first successful attempt to use non-violent means to desegregate a food service operation. In 1958, a group of black schoolchildren successfully performed a sit-in at Oklahoma City unit of the regional Katz Drug Store chain, ultimately achieving the first victory in breaking down racial barriers in that city. Filmmakers Julia Clifford and Bob Ridgley tell this long-forgotten story, tracking down several of the original participants. Much of the credit for the Oklahoma City desegregation push belonged to Clara Super, a local NAACP youth council leader who was unable to get support from Oklahoma City’s political, business, and religious leadership for ending Jim Crow in her city. The film makes liberal use of the 1982 interview with Super, who recalls the genesis and results of the campaign–which was aided, to a certain extent, by a sympathetic police force who protected the children from hostile and potentially violent whites outraged over the demonstration. Combining rare archival film footage and photographs with interviews of civil rights icons Rep. John Lewis and the late Julian Bond, this documentary offers an insightful and invigorating portrayal of a little-known early incident in the historical struggle for equality in the United Starts. Highly recommended. Aud:C,P. (P. Hall)