Kate and Ted Buczek

Long-time activists for civil rights and peace and justice, Kate and Ted Buczek helped organize downtown sit-in actions at the State Street Woolworth’s in the early 1960s, as well as peaceful protests against job discrimination at Perry Square.  Kate served on the executive board of the NAACP for a remarkable 45 years and helped drive its membership recruitment efforts during the era of the Civil Rights Movement. Celestine Davis recalled an action in which she and Kate Buczek went to a local restaurant known for its discriminatory treatment of African Americans.  Kate Buczek (who was white) went in first and was served.  Ms. Davis followed and waited, and waited for service.  When finally served, she was charged more for the same item on the menu as Kate, bolstering the case of the NAACP against the restaurant.  As historian Jim Young has recently documented, in the late 1950s, Buczek alleged that the FBI and local political figures attempted to pressure NAACP president Jesse Thompson to have her removed from the chapter’s leadership—an effort Thompson resisted. Ted Buczek’s activism included service on the board of the Booker T. Washington Center.

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