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Newspaper Smyth County News

Date 2/24/1927

Issue Number 47

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Article Type Article

Article Title Two Restaurants In Virginia Face Civil Rights Suits

Article Text Civil rights suits charging two restaurants, one in Amelia county and one Louisa, with refusing to serve Negroes were filed in federal District Court here yesterday.
One was filed in behalf of Willie C. Coleman and Julia E. Coleman of Amelia county against the Rock Shop of RFD 2, Amelia, and its operator, Warren Diehl Baltzley.
The second, filed in behalf of Robert A, Cooke of Goochland county, names Lucilles restaurant of Gum Springs and its operator, Lucille Johnson Rice, as defendeants. Both suits, similar in pleas for legal relief, ask for permanent injunction to restrain the restaurants from refusing to serve Negroes. Speedy court hearings were asked for, but no dates have been assigned for trials. The restaurants have 20 days from the dates they receive official notices of the complaints in which to file answers. The suits were filed under the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Colemans allege they were refused soft drinks on August 28, when they sat in a booth of the Rock Shop restaurant. According to the suit, a restaurant employe told the Colemans, "We serve it to go, but we do not serve colored here." In his suit, Cooke said he was refused service at 2.45 p.m. on August 30, when he entered Lucilles Restaurant at Gum Springs. A restaurant employe, Cooke alleges, told him that the restuarant was closing at 3 p.m. and that he sould be served if he returned at 6 p.m. Cooke said he left and at 3 p.m. noted a white customer entering the restaurant and being served. Cooke alleges that he returned to the restaurant at 6 p.m. that day and again requested service. He was told by a restaurant employe, Cooke said that "the door is locked and I'm going home."

Article Summary Two civil rights suits were filed in the federal district court against restaurants for refusing to serve negroes. One was filed by Wille and Julia Coleman of Amelia County. The other was filed by Robert Cooke of Goochland County. Both suits ask that the restaurants not be permitted to refuse to serve negroes.

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