The nonprofit Peoples History of Texas has completed its documentary on the stand-ins. To see it, click on their name.
The Texas Observer now has all its issues online, but older issues are searchable only by date. For those searching for material on the University of Texas during the time of the stand-ins and similar activity, here is a guide to some Observer links.
Bombing of the University “Y” and formation of Students for Direct Action: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1960/12/02#page=3
Stand-ins begin at the Texas Theater: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1960/12/09#page=5
Stand-ins continue and spread to the Varsity Theater, gaining support from University of Texas faculty members and from Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1960/12/30#page=1 (Continues on page 2, easy to scroll down)
Description of activities at the stand-ins: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1960/12/30#page=5
More faculty support, and stand-ins coordinated with national Lincoln’s Birthday demonstrations: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/01/14#page=8
Stand-ins reach a peak of 400, with confrontations: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/02/18#page=1 (scroll to continuation on page 3, also note page 3 article about other Lincoln’s Birthday demonstrations in Texas and nationally)
“Y” bombers placed on disciplinary probation: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/02/25#page=3
Demonstrations at theaters in Austin and elsewhere: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/03/04#page=3
A vigil by Booker T. Bonner: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/03/18#page=3
Chandler Davidson’s “Beware the Jabberwock” column appeared regularly in The Daily Texan. This parody appeared in the May 17, 1961 Dilly Texanne. (Click image to enlarge.)
This is from the front page of the Dilly Texanne published by the Texas Ranger staff May 17, 1961 (click image to enlarge). Chandler Davidson and the Students for Direct Action, satirized here, were among many civil rights demonstrators of the 1960s who heard the chant, “Two, four, six, eight! We don’t want to integrate!”
From Chandler Davidson:
Mike Miller, manager of the Austin public library, sent me a letter thanking me for the stand-in documents I gave to the library, and informing me as follows:
“You may be interested in knowing that we will be able to use some of your materials in support of our upcoming exhibit, ‘The First Picture Shows: Austin’s Historic Movie Houses.’ We will have a section in the exhibit on Black Theaters in Austin that will include the story of the stand-ins. The exhibit opens on March 20, 2012 and runs through August 19.”
What is called the Sixties refers mainly to the late 1960s. This blog deals primarily with activism at the University of Texas in the early 1960s. Chandler Davidson, who was a leader in the civil rights movement at UT, organized a reunion (held Dec. 3, 2010) for the 50th anniversary of the stand-ins, a movement to integrate theaters on the Drag (Guadalupe Street in Austin).
I did not participate in the stand-ins myself. I participated in a restaurant integration demonstration earlier that year, and was in the University “Y” when it was bombed. From the time the stand-ins started, I did not attend an off-campus movie until the theaters were integrated, regardless of whether demonstrations were taking place. When I was not eating at the dorm, on a few occasions I succumbed to peer pressure and ate with friends at segregated restaurants. As I do not remember any of the meals or the conversations, obviously it would be a more satisfying memory had I stuck to principle consistently in this area also.