In 2021, the Conservation Society of San Antonio partnered with the San Antonio African American Museum and Archives to produce Woolworth and Civil Rights: A First in the South, a pair of short documentary films about the history of the civil rights movement in Texas and San Antonio.
The first, "The Texas Sit-Ins, 1960," tells the story of how young African Americans helped re-energize the national civil rights movement. Through peaceful sit-ins, they protested racial discrimination at public lunch counters across the South. Texas students quickly took up the cause and led freedom struggles that played out in their state's big cities and college towns.
The second video, "San Antonio, 1960: A Quiet Revolution," chronicles San Antonio’s lunch-counter integration history. In 1960, Mary Lillian Andrews led the local NAACP Youth Council at the age of seventeen. Her request that store managers integrate their lunch counters produced the first peaceful, voluntary integration of the 1960 sit-in movement. San Antonio became a brief beacon of hope for a nation torn by racial strife.
The videos are available to stream on the Conservation Society of San Antonio website.
This project was made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas.