Wade-In at Savannah Beach
Savannah Beach Wade – In and Arrests Summer of 1960 From the Savannah Tribune, August 20, 1960
On Wednesday afternoon, August 17, twelve members of the Youth Council of the Savannah Branch NAACP participated in a “Wade-In” at Savannah Beach.
Eleven of the group were arrested after they entered the water. They were charged with disrobing in public. Their case will be heard Friday at 7 p.m.
David Nichols, 17, of 416 ½ W. Henry Street, was also charged with having an improper state tag and parking on private property. His bond was set at $105 and others at $54.
The other 10 included:
- Marjorie Dalida, 19, of 2229 Weldon Street, a Savannah State College sophomore;
- Charles L. Smart, 26, of 1617 Burrell Street
- Eleanor Mitchell, 22, of 902 West 48th Street
- Carrie Orr, 17, of 521 E. Gwinnett Lane, a senior at Sol C. Johnson High
- James Alexander, 17, of 520 E. Hall Lane, due to be a freshman at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, this fall
- Judson Brown, 21, of 260 Eve Street
- Amos C. Brown, 19, a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta
- Benjamin Clark, 17, 515 East Liberty Lane, a Sol C. Johnson High, junior
- Annie Mustifpher, 17 of 533 West Harris Street, a Beach High junior
- Caroline Nelson, 17 of 512 ½ West Anderson Street
The group made the following statements as to the purpose of the “Wade – In.” “As American citizens and residents of Chatham County and the state of Georgia , we are exercising our rights and privileges to use this public supported facility, Savannah Beach. Negro citizens have been denied the use this public supported facility, Savannah Beach.” “Negro citizens have been denied the use of this tax supported facility, which constitutes a violation of our rights as guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Negro citizens in Chatham County must journey out of the state to Hilton Head, South Carolina and Beaufort, South Carolina to enjoy beach privileges in this immediate vicinity.
“Wholesome recreation is a necessity in the development of healthy minds, healthy bodies, and also contributes to a sense of fair play which promotes good citizenship. And since we are citizens of Chatham County and it becomes our duty to take a fair share of responsibilities that a good citizen should assume in a democratic society, then it should follow that as citizens we should enjoy a fair share of the privileges that we are entitled.
“The Negro youth having been denied the use of public recreational facilities, such as Savannah Beach, feel that they have been unjustly treated are now determine to help Savannah and Chatham County to become truly democratic through granting Negroes the privilege to use all recreational facilities, such as Savannah Beach, feel that they have been unjustly treated and are now determined to help Savannah and Chatham County to become truly democratic through granting Negroes the privilege to use all recreational facilities.
Answer the following questions:
Could these young people be arrested at Savannah’s Tybee Beach today?
Why were they not allowed to “wade in” at Savannah Beach in 1963?
What is a “wade - in”? Was it effective?