Let’s Have a Black Christmas … Rizzo Must Go
[Philadelphia]: np, . Offset flyer. 4 ¼ x 9 in. Very good, light toning to edges and minor edgewear. Item #6699
Flyer produced for the December 1967 boycott in opposition to then-Police Commissioner and later Mayor Frank Rizzo’s brutal response to a peaceful student protest.
On November 17, 1967, Black high school students in public schools across Philadelphia walked out of class and gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to demand more Black history courses, more Black teachers and administrators, and the right to wear natural hair styles to school.
Although Board of Education president Richardson Dilworth and other administrators were initially receptive to the students’ demands, the peaceful protest descended into chaos when Commissioner Rizzo sent in busloads of police under orders to “get their black asses.” The students were brutalized, many hospitalized, and 57 high schoolers and adult organizers were arrested.
Concerned citizens called for a boycott of all merchants, except Black-owned businesses, throughout the Christmas season, and the commercial boycott was planned in tandem with a student strike. Neither managed to shut down everyday life in the city, but countless actions such as walk-outs, rallies, and demonstrations continued throughout the holiday season, calling for the removal of Rizzo and the reversal of his white supremacist agenda. Unfortunately, school administrators were ultimately blamed for mismanagement and Rizzo only strengthened his hold on power, continuing to aggressively suppress Black activism through his law-and-order agenda. Three years later, he was elected mayor of Philadelphia.
“Don’t spend your green power with white power until they respect black power.”.