[Atlanta]: E.S.C.R.U., . Single sheet (10 by 15 inches), printed and illustrated on all sides, folded vertically in quarters then horizontally across lower margin of sheet. About-Fine. Item #1398
"SEWANEE NEEDS YOUR CRITICISM FOR IT BELONGS TO THE CHURCH"
Scarce 1962 Civil Rights leaflet protesting segregation at Sewanee Divinity School—with 3 anguished illustrations of Black Crucifixion by Allan Rohan Crite. Printed for the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity (ESCRU).
The School of Theology at the University of the South at Sewanee opened its doors to black students in 1953 but segregation remained an issue in Chattanooga, Tennessee and in the Episcopal Church. African-Americans—full and equal members of the Episcopal Church by baptism—were kept apart as the Church effectively embraced the "separate but equal" racial segregation prevalent in American society. The Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity, formed in December 1959 by 100 ordained and lay Episcopalians, sought to confront and remove all vestiges of segregation from the life of the Church. Founded by the Reverends John Morris, Neil Tarplee and Arthur Walmsley and based in Atlanta, the ESCRU sought to spotlight the long-standing racial segregation and division in the Church and to promote racial unity.
The Sewanee Inn and Claramont Restaurant—the premises leased from the university—became a focal point of contention as the proprietor consistently refused service to anyone not directly connected to the University of the South. The text consists of five articles reprinted from The Chattanooga Times, along with Is History Repeated, a Letter to the Editor: "The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) decided 'Cujus Regio Ejus Religio'—Whosoever owns the land his religion rules? Does this apply at Sewanee today?" The text is accompanied by four grainy photographs of the Sewanee Inn and Claramont Restaurant, and three sketches of the Passion of Christ by Allan Rohan Crite (dated 1953), the African American artist and activist in response to discrimination he experienced while in Sewanee in 1952. Supplemented with three brief notes, headed: Those Denied Service — Comments and Questions on Sewanee's Position — To The Reader, beseeching public support: "Sewanee needs your criticism for it belongs to the Church."