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Jackson Ricau interview, Part 1
Topics include: Integration of southern schools, excommunication from church, the New Orleans citizen council
1:30 She asks him about his political career, how it starts, and the changes he's seen. He got into it after he saw the desegregation of public schools by the supreme court. He thought the segregated school system in the south was better and there was about to be major problems because of this. They desegregated schools in Washington DC in 1954 and chaos ensued, he didn't want this to happen. Talks about how desegregation of schools isn't working, he mentions the Coleman report of 1966. 5:00 Says that he is falsely accused of hating blacks, but that is not the case and he believes that they are better off with a segregated school system as well. He was with the Citizens' Council of New Orleans. Archbishop Ronald in 1956 said segregation is a mortal sin. 7:00 He's born and raised in New Orleans, third generation from New Orleans. Educated in New Orleans, very catholic. 8:30 Believes people are changing things just to change them. Believes winds of change aretriggered by a worldwide communist movement, and believes that tradition works. Just like how White and Blacks should both be proud of their races. He says the segregated schooling system had no problems until the supreme court decision in 1954. They don't talk about happiness of the people today they just talk about everybody's rights. 11:30 Split off with citizen council of New Orleans in 1958. Tape goes bad for 15 seconds. 13:45 Interviewee grew up in Florida and has family from Miss and Virginia. Talks about family for 4 minutes. 17:15 Majored in journalism at Loyola. When he got into the Citizens' Council he thought you need to of published a paper of some kind before being in the council. South LouisianaCitizens' Council was respectable, people in this group are not Anti-Semitic, and were looked at as more educated. Joseph Bigurie was the president. Other members were businessmen in the community. Members worked very different jobs for example one was with the post office, another was an intelligence officer for the New Orleans police. A few were into politics. Names a bunch of names but they aren't audible. 21:45 The paper they put out went across the whole country, not too many readers but people all over read it. The council had board meetings once a month to make decisions. The people most important in making the decisions were the President and the man talking, although everyone had a say. They had public meetings after and during the schools were being integrated. After integration of the schools the city didn't allow the group to use these buildings as places for meetings. Held meetings in schools or gyms in Jefferson parish. In new Orleans meetings they would get around 3000 people. 25:45 Gave speeches to many different groups. An example is catholic groups opposed to integration of schools. The groups were receptive to these speeches, but only the people who were interested would come to the meetings. He was a head of a segregationist organization. He was excommunicated from the church without a hearing, even though you are supposed to be entitled to a hearing. He found out he was excommunicated from a TV station and didn't get a notice of excommunication until a month after it happened. They picked the 3 main heads of the organization to be excommunicated. After the whole group was threatened with excommunication the whole group was threatened. He received letters from Catholics all over the nation who agreed with him. He still has many of these letters. People wondered if archbishop Ronald was wrong about what he said about segregation and wondered if he had the power to excommunicate him. Excommunication usually originates from Rome.
Civil rights movement
New Orleans (La.)
Amistad Research Center
Rogers.Jackson Ricau 11.17.1978 Item 1-01
Box 8, Item 1, Side 1, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
hysical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.