In 1935, a white clerk at the A&P store in Atlanta beat a black customer. An unemployed father of three, he had stolen a bag of sugar. Black consumers of the store began to picket and organized a boycott. One demand was the hiring of black clerks.
The following is from Black Politics in New Deal Atlanta by Karen Jane Ferguson. "Despite visits from the Ku Klux Klan and a menacing police cordon which "protected" the store from vandalism with sawed-off shotguns, the picketers persisted…the boycott received wide community support, especially after schoolboys distributed handbills in the surrounding black neighborhood urging black consumers to stop patronizing A&P."
The boycott lasted five years and eventually the store had to close.
I do not know if this hand-painted handbill is associated with the Atlanta strike, but it seems to come from the time period. I presume there were other incidents involving the grocery over the years. There was a significant boycott of the chain in the 1960s apparently organized by Albert Brinson, a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Original watercolor monochrome painting for a handbill, no date. Anonymous.
Collection Jim Linderman Thanks to Curley's Antiques