Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #64: Greyhound Grievances

Greenwood's Greyhound Bus Station, photo by Sara Criss

“The Greyhound Bus Station was another target when they did away with their segregated waiting rooms. The station, across the street from City Hall, had paint splattered on it in the dark of night, and on some occasions spray paint was used to indicate they were ‘n—–r lovers.’ De La had let it be known how he felt about the bus station’s policies.

“At one point the City Council passed an ordinance providing that where the Chief of Police considered a situation to exist or to be developing that might lead to a breach of the peace, he might close the place and require everyone to leave. This ordinance was passed on a Sunday afternoon at the height of the Leflore Theater trouble. It provided that should a situation exist on the streets, on the sidewalks or at any public place, or in a store, place of amusement or recreation or in any other business or establishment open to the public ‘which existing or developing situation is likely to lead to a breach of the peace, the chief of police can require all persons in the public place or area to leave and can require the store, place of amusement or recreation to close.’

“The ordinance provided that anyone violating this law would be guilty of a misdemeanor upon conviction and subject to a fine of not more than $300 or imprisonment of not more than 90 days or both. The ordinance also provided that it would take effect immediately after its passage by the council.”

About sec040121

Hello....I'm in possession of a priceless collection of memoirs and memorabilia left by my mother, Sara Evans Criss. She was a native and lifelong (88 years!) devotee of our small town, who covered this peculiar and volatile corner of the world for 30 years as the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Greenwood bureau chief, a job that started out with debutantes and high school football and wound up spang in the midst of one of the twentieth century's most enduring social upheavals. This blog is dedicated to her memory and the legacy she left behind, both for her family and her community.
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