UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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Frank O. Sherrill papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS0405

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily consists of newspaper clippings and correspondence collected by Frank O. Sherrill in 1963. Letters in this collection are mainly written to Sherrill or his colleagues from members of the public, and either support S&W Cafeteria's segregation policy or ask the restaurant to serve black patrons alongside whites. The bulk of clippings relate to the issue of segregation or integration of public accommodations, and come from newspapers or magazines including the Roanoke World News (of Roanoke VA), The Greensboro Daily News, the Charlotte Observer, the Durham Morning Herald, the Daily Advance (of Lynchburg, VA) and the US News & World Report. The collection also includes a selective patronage list published by the Christian Inter-Racial Witness Association that lists businesses boycotted by the NAACP, petitions in favor of segregation, and a telegram send by President John F. Kennedy, inviting Sherrill to the White House to attend a conference on racial integration.

Dates

  • 1963

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Frank O. Sherrill, a Shelby, North Carolina native, co-founded S&W Cafeteria in the 1920s, a chain of restaurants that operated in in North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, DC during the 1960s. The S&W chain had a reputation both for fine food as well as a pleasing, upscale atmosphere, and by the 1970s had grown to twenty-two cafeterias. By 1963, civil rights supporters pushed for desegregation of public accommodations throughout the South, and S&W faced pressure from the public and from civil rights organizations to desegregate their restaurants. Like so many other public facilities, the S&W Cafeterias excluded minorities until African-Americans began asserting their civil rights and demanded an end to segregation. Petitions in May of 1963 and a newspaper article dated June 5 indicate that Sherrill initially resisted desegregation of his restaurant chain, though he eventually bowed to public pressure to desegregate. During those months of protest in the spring and summer of 1963, Sherrill accumulated newspaper clippings on the issue of desegregation in the South as it affected him and his business. He also received letters from patrons on both sides of the issue (including those who had been his customers for many years), either to encourage him to resist desegregation or to ask that he extend equal treatment to African-Americans. By the end of June of 1963, S&W Cafeterias opened their doors to all customers regardless of race. [Sources: Frank O. Sherrill papers, UNC Charlotte Library, Mss 405 ; DePreist, Joe, “A Life on the Serving Line,” Charlotte Observer, Friday, December 29, 1995.]

Extent

1.25 Linear Feet

Overview

The collection primarily consists of newspaper clippings and letters collected by Frank O. Sherrill. Sherrill was the co-founder of the S&W Cafeteria chain, which, like many other restaurants in the South during the time, denied service to black patrons through the early 1960s. By 1963, civil rights supporters pushed for desegregation of public accommodations throughout the South. S&W faced pressure from the public and from civil rights organizations to desegregate their restaurants, which they ultimately did.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Obtained from Rufus Dalton, in January of 2009.

Available Online

Selected materials from the Frank O. Sherrill papers have been digitized and can be found online: http://digitalcollections.uncc.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16033coll10

Related Materials

Harry Golden papers, mss 20. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Stanford Brookshire papers, mss 41. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Fred D. Alexander papers, mss 91. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. University of North Carolina at Charlotte; W.G. Frye photographs, P191/4. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. University of North Carolina at Charlotte; M.E. Boyer papers, mss 94, P94/16-30. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. University of North Carolina at Charlotte and box 1 folder 15.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes
Title
Frank O. Sherrill papers
Status
Completed
Author
Robert A. McInnes
Date
2009
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Contact:
Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated