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Angry White Hotel Owner (James Brock) Poured Acid in Pool to Get Blacks Out (1964)

Written by Jae Jones

African Americans wanted to enjoy leisure activities just like the White Americans during the early to mid-1900s, but very often they were prevented from doing so. One activity that Whites did not want to share with Blacks was sharing a public pool. Even Whites living up north believed that people who had moved from the South and living in the North was nasty and had southern germs from working in the fields. The concern also was that if blacks and whites swam together at resort pools, supposedly since blacks were highly sexualized, black men would assault white women with romantic advances, and try to make physical contact with them.

When federal courts desegregated municipal pools in the late 1940s and 1950s many white swimmers generally abandoned municipal pools. They did not build as many new pools as they had previously, they neglected maintenance on existing pools, and eventually chose to close down dilapidated pools rather than pay for costly repairs. So, this is what led blacks to look for safer places where they could swim, but they still faced discrimination on the regular at these new locations as well.

The swim-in was part of protests planned by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  James Brock would not allow King and others to eat at the Monson restaurant on June 11, 1964, and he had them arrested for trespassing. On June 17 a dozen rabbis arrived, knelt in front of the restaurant and began to pray to distract Brock while a group of protestors jumped into the pool.  However, James Brock the owner of the hotel came out trying to disrupt the swimmers who were protested and poured “acid” into the pool. The group of swimmers moved to the center of the pool, but the women were swimmers were frighten when they heard the word acid. The type of acid that was poured into the water did not do physical harm to the swimmers.

 

 

sources:

http://staugustine.com/stories/091307/news_4835421.shtml#.VhhZOzZdGM9

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026818458

 

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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