The Tuscaloosa Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity filed a lawsuit last week against the Cypress Inn Restaurant for discrimination. In the suit the Kappas claim the restaurant refused service and “denied Plaintiffs the right to makeand enforce contracts on the same basis as white citizens,” which was in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 1964 and 42 U.S.C. of 1981.
The fraternity says it paid $1,500 last December to reserve a waterfront pavilion at the Cypress Inn, which is on Black Warrior River near Tuscaloosa. The event was scheduled for February 23, but on February 6, Cypress Inn canceled the reservation and refunded the deposit.
Chapter President Clifton Warren told CNN that he had gone to the restaurant to make final arrangements when a staff member informed him that the event could no longer be held there due to security concerns. According the suit, the staff member told Warren that she hadn’t realized that the fraternity was an “all black” group.
According to Warren the restaurant’s owner, Renea Henson, told him, “We’ve had problems with your kind before.”
Cypress Inn, in a statement sent to CNN, said it made its decision after consulting with the company that provides its security.
“Our outside security firm recommended against hosting the party because the fraternity was proposing to sell tickets to the public and our security firm strongly recommended against hosting that type party out of concern for public safety,” the restaurant said.