The NAACP youth unit pledged to involve 5,000 youngsters in a 23-city boycott of the Adam's Mark Hotel chain, kicking off the campaign last month with 50 picketing teens and adults outside the chain's downtown Washington, D.C., sales office.
Charging discriminatory practices and a failure to settle a lawsuit filed by youngsters staying at one of the chain's hotels in Daytona Beach, Fla., NAACP President Kweisi Mfume says the picketing will last 30 days and include the chain's corporate office in St. Louis, Mo. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that during the 1999 Black College Reunion, alleged discriminatory practices included luggage searches, excessive police presence, excessive fees, higher room rates than those for non-blacks and denying black people access to the parking lot or to the lobby unless registered.
A new trial is scheduled for November after a judge dismissed the original suit on a technicality and settlement talks broke down. Adam's Mark President Fred S. Kummel sought an injunction against the protest but was denied.
"We really do not understand what this protest accomplishes for the parties involved," Kummel says.