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Harry Belafonte to Test Atlanta Segregation Laws

June 6, 1962 - Harry Belafonte (right), the Negro singer, and a racially mixed group were accepted for registration at an Atlanta motel today but were not allowed to eat in its restaurant. Negro organizations protested. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said the group would have held a sit-in at the restaurant but for the fact that Atlanta was in mourning for the more than 100 residents killed Sunday in a Paris plane crash. Mr. Belafonte is in Atlanta to give a benefit concert for Dr. King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In the group refused service were African folk singer Miriam Makeba, Dr. King, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and Mike Merrick, Mr. Belafonte’s white manager. J.J. Sarno, an owner of the Atlanta Cabana Motor Hotel, said the restaurant had been leased to an outsider, and he had no control over its policy. He served the group a free lunch in the motel office afterward.

#civilrights #OTD #1960s #MLK