The Max Reddick Experience

Apr. 30, 1955: In a test of Segregation laws, an interracial group of students tried to gain entrance into the Northwood theater. None were admitted.(Photographer unknown/Baltimore Sun) Feb. 19,1963: Man blocks the entrance to the Northwood Theater where about 150 protesters demonstrated last night. All were arrested & charged with trespassing and discord.(William L. LaForce/Baltimor Feb. 20, 1963: Demonstrators parade outside the City Hall. (Ellis Malashuk/Baltimore Sun) Feb. 21, 1963. Crowded women’s quarters at the City Jail held 208 prisoners last night as Northwood Theater demonstrators jammed the section past its theoretical capacity of 140.  (William Mortimer/Ba Feb. 22, 1963: Joyce Dennison, 21, Morgan State (L) and Harriett Cohen, Goucher College, study in the City Jail after being arrested with 341 others while demonstrating outside of the Northwood Theate Feb. 22, 1963: Goucher College and Morgan College students leave the City Jail after being released without bail.  (Frank Gardina/Baltimore Sun) Feb. 22,1963: Student demonstrators release their emotions as they are released from the City Jail. — This photo was published in the Morning Sun under the headline ‘Northwood Theater Desegregation.’

Former student protesters remember civil rights battle over the Northwood Theatre

By Jean Marbella

Movie tickets at the Northwood Theatre cost just 90 cents back in 1963. But for some, the price of admission was considerably higher.

It took years of picketing and nights in jail for hundreds of African-American college students and their supporters before the theater in the Hillen neighborhood of Baltimore dropped its whites-only policy. Fifty years ago this week, the matinee of the Disney movie “In Search of the Castaways” played to the Northwood’s first-ever integrated audience.

"It was just something in my opinion that needed to be done," said Joyce I. Dennison, 71, who, as a student at Morgan State College, joined the protests that led to the theater’s desegregation on Feb. 22, 1963.

"You say you want to open a facility to the public — we are part of the public."

Half a century later, the integration of a small neighborhood movie house that closed in 1981 might seem a minor footnote in the sweep of civil rights history. It was not Brown v. Board of Education or the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  [Continue reading article.]

[Image source]


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