rived at the Raven early Sunday and were served. As the 26 whites gathered in Huntsville, HA-YOU was holding a meeting of about 300 people dressed in their Sunday finery. Rev. Sampson was speaking as our car from Austin pulled into the park. His tone was aggressive. “The white people in Huntsville are sick,” he said. “Any time a white woman can tell me I have to go through due process of law to eat a hamburger, she is sick. . . . Who speaks for the Negro? The same man who asks the question answers it. No longer, white man, can you pick Xamount of Negroes and put them on committees and continue the substance of segregation by slightly altering the forms. That day is over.” Sampson also addressed himself directly to his predominantly adult audience: “The young people have made mistakesso you say. They should have told you, so you say. Well, they’ve been living here eighteen, nineteen years, they thought you knew. They thought you knew the pain and of course you do. Every man and woman here knows why the young people are doing what they are doing. They’re working for their freedom and for your freedom.” This drew applause. He also had a word for the young people. “The young people have a obligation to allow representatives of the Ministerial Alliance, of the Chamber of Commerce, and of the NAACP on the steering committee. They have an obligation to consult with the whole community. The young people can draw sustenance from the adult. A Negro maid phoned me, said she was so glad somebody was finally doing something. She said she was being paid $86 per month not a weekbut a month, for working full time as a maid at Sam Houston State College” \(shouts of “that’s right” and “tell “I serve notice on the laundry where the white man told his employees to get their children off the streets. We’re serving notice on all of the white businesses in Huntsville. There is a word called boycott. We are serving notice that Dr. King and SCLC are in Huntsville to stay. When I leave, the power structure is going to try to crush the young people, the old people, but they forget that Eastern Airlines flies both ways. “Young people, don’t get an ego just ecause you’ve got a picket sign in your hands. It isn’t exclusively you. You kids are just doing what all Negroes have wanted to do for 300 years” \(shouts of old people in Huntsville are singing and praying for freedom. But the kids don’t have to sing and pray for freedom because they are freefree to demonstrate, to demand, to act like free men. “We were brought here as slaves but now we are married to this land. We believe there is a kingdom on earth, as there is in heaven. That is what the word of the marriage ceremony means. We are not going to let nobody turn us around.” Coincidentally, Sampson, Gerald Davison, and Andy Polk attended the Negro chamber meeting, but Reid said, “we didn’t discuss this Raven affair with them.” To the white liberals on the scene and to Sampson, this was the crux of the matter, involving conditions that it has taken the South 350 years to produce and which will take some rude shocks to change. We believed that HA-YOU not only physically and intellectually represented the civil rights movement in Huntsville, it represented the spirit of the overwhelming majority of the entire Negro community from the checker players on the courthouse lawn to the maids and porters who brought food to the houses of Wendell Baker and Kermit Davison, while the Negro chamber, a roster of whose directors would make clear their economic dependence on the ruling powers in Huntsville, had not known what was going on and disclaimed responsibility. The question reduced itself simply to: How can we convince white traditionalists that the old ways have passed? Underlying this was a psychological question. The white orthodoxy in the South relies on reassuring words from economically dependent Negroes to justify continued inaction in broad areas of civil rights, job opportunities, and local custom. In St. Augustine, which I covered in some depth, 18 bitter months passed while the white traditionalists categorically refused to recognize or deal with the leaders of the Negro civil rights movement. In this period there were uncounted bombings, burnings, beatings, and shootings, including murder. It was the thesis of the whites participating in the Huntsville movement that if there was any solid contribution we could make, both to our conception of a different South and our respect for the human beings who comprise the old South, it would be to assist HA-YOU in “getting the attention” of the traditionalists so a genuine dialogue could begin before passions hardened. Our tactic was to create a circumstance that would force the town to ask: “Who is HA-YOU? How can we get in touch with them?” At 5:17 p.m. on Sunday, 26 white persons from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Beaumont, and San Marcos began filing into the Raven Cafe and taking seats at the booths. The Whites in the Cafe The Raven, fairly well appointed as courthouse restaurants go, had few customers at this hour; and we filled up most of the empty seats at the booths and tables. I went to the counter to get some matches. A customer ahead of me was greeted by the cashier and asked, “Do you have whitewalled tires?” “Yes,” he replied. “Well, you’d better get rid of them, they have to be black.” We all smiled. As the few diners paid their checks and left, their seats were filled by members of our group who moved over from the counter seats until every booth and table was occupied, only one table by Huntsville customers, a group of four. Each of our group nursed along a single cup of coffee. Presumably Mr. DeBaghi, the aged empresario of the Raven, perceived that something was amiss; we waited for him to respond. At 6:03 Mr. DeBaghi got some customers and found he had no tables available. Most of us were sitting in pairs, but. Dr. Cody Wilson, the U.T. professor who had moderated the youth conference, and Bob Stone, a recent philosophy graduate student at the University of Texas now working as a reporter for the San Antonio Express, were sitting alone at adjoining tables. DeBaghi hustled over to Stone and asked him to move. Stone, a tall blond man with glasses who rather looks like a philosophy student, declined with a smile. DeBaghi asked “What are you’all doin’?” Stone replied that we were protesting the fact the Raven was not integrated. DeBaghi said it was, too, he had served two members of the Negro chamber of commerce that very morning. Stone said that he was glad to hear this and hoped that Mr. DeBaghi would notify HA-YOU so we could leave. “What is HA-YOU?” said DeBaghi. “That is the organization that is leading the civil rights movement in Huntsville,” Stone replied. “Well, we had an agreement with the Negro chamber of commerce,” said DeBaghi. “Is the place integrated?” asked Stone. “Not exactly. We told them it’s okay if they come in here by twos and threes.” This conversation was interspersed by DeBaghi asking, “Why don’t you move?” A few more sentences were exchanged, all quite polite. Mr. DeBaghi was nervous and, we later learned, slightly hard of hearing, so he may not have understood much more about HA-YOU at that point. A waitress passed the table where Tom Lichten and I were sitting; she muttered in a loud whisper: “Sure is low down, niggers getting white people to help them.” Two sheriff’s deputies appeared at the door, talked briefly to Mrs. DeBaghi, and placed a phone call. A waiter went over to Stone’s table, grabbed his arm, and tried to make him move, but Stone sat rooted to his chair. The waiter asked him why he was doing this. Stone, waving his hand to include all the customers, said that he and 25 others from Dallas, Houston, and other cities were there to support HA-YOU’s drive for integration in Huntsville and at the cafe. “We served some niggers this morning,” said the waiter. “Well, if you’ll notify HA-YOU that you’re integrated,” said Stone, “we’ll leave as soon as HA-YOU confirms to us that they have been notified.” “What is HA-YOU?” asked the waiter. “They’re the civil rights group in Huntsville that has demonstrated here at the Raven and elsewhere.” “And you’re with them?” said the waiter. “That’s right, all you have to do is call them on the phone and tell them of your new policy and when they let us know, we’ll leave.” All right, I’m going to do that,” said the waiter, and he left. I spotted Don Reid, the pleasant-mannered editor of the Huntsville Item, and motioned to him to come over to my table. While I was talking to him, Chief Todd came in and went over to Stone’s table. Rev. Oliver, who had been sitting at another table, joined them. According to Art Yarbrough, a student demonstrator, who was sitting in the adjacent booth, and to August 6, 1965
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