In her letter to national CORE president George Houser, Peoria CORE active member Hazel Pritcher detailed the group’s recent sit-ins at various restaurants including ‘The Pantry’ — an eatery that refused service to Richard Pryor thirteen years later —and their recent efforts to convince a local high school to revise a planned performance of a blackface minstrel show.
An excerpt concerning the minstrel show reads:
“CORE president asked the principal and music teacher of one of the High Schools to modify a ‘Ministrel’ they planned to give. She asked to modify blackface, pig-tails, dialect and words such as ‘darky’ and ‘pickaninny.’ She was referred to the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Davis, who wanted to ‘if it was an isolated idea or nationwide’. The president returned with mothers and citizens who tried to explain the hindrance of such a plan but still the Superintendent wanted to know ‘if it was nation-wide, what did the N.A.A.C.P. think of it,’ why not take it to them?”