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WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Jesse Jackson talking about the civil rights movement's change in tactics, West Hunter Street Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, 1973 March 4

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Creator:WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Title:WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Jesse Jackson talking about the civil rights movement's change in tactics, West Hunter Street Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, 1973 March 4
Date:1973 Mar. 4

Reporter: Elder, Walt.

In this WSB newsfilm clip dated March 4, 1973, Reverend Jesse Jackson speaks to a group of Atlanta reporters about building coalitions amongst national civil rights groups to represent the needs of poor people; reuniting with Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy after having left the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); the proposed elimination of social services on the part of the Nixon administration; the negotiating power of African American consumers; and about the civil rights movement's focus on securing economic equity for African Americans.

The clip is divided into three segments. The first segment of the clip, just under one minute long, begins with Reverend Jesse Jackson, president of People United to Save Humanity (PUSH), standing amongst a group of reporters in front of the West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy, president of SCLC, is pastor. Speaking into several microphones that reporters have held in front of him, Jackson says "I think that we have no choice but to act . . . if we do act, there is no guarantee that we will win, but if we don't act, there is a guarantee that we will lose. I think that we have always been able to organize around programs and around oppression rather than just organize around organizations. In other words, there is no real purpose served for a group of organizations just to sit in a room and talk about what they ought to do. But if there's a dire need, such as there is now to dramatize the plight of poor people, and to raise it up high in the consciousness of people in this country, then around need we come together." This is followed by approximately fifteen seconds of b-roll footage that begins with a shot of people walking out of the West Hunter Street Baptist church, then by a shot of several women standing in front of the church. Next, a shot taken from across the street reveals a crowd of people standing in front of the church; the crowd spills from the sidewalk into the street. A television camera operator walks through the group of people as he carries a camera on his shoulder, and the segment ends.

The second segment of the clip, less than one minute long, begins with approximately thirty seconds of b-roll footage that includes a shot of the facade of the West Hunter Street Baptist Church. An African American couple crosses the street in front of the church, and proceeds to enter the building. Next, the camera zooms in on the sign posted in front of the church, which reads: "West Hunter Street Baptist Church. Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, Pastor. Sunday - March 4, 1973 10:45 A.M. - Working worship Rev. Jesse Jackson Chicago Illinois Holy communion 7:00 P.M. Baptism welcome." Next, the camera focuses on the church facade, and zooms in on the front doors of the church; a group of parishioners exit the building, and cross the road in front of the church. Next, Jackson responds to questions from the same cluster of African American reporters, standing in the same location as in the first segment of the clip. The first question that he responds to is not recorded. Jackson then responds "Well I think that we must get the maximum amount of people involved. In other words, labor is affected adversely by the President's budget, poor white folks, poor black folk, poor brown folk, students, and parents . . . as well as the organizations, you know, that represent these people from time to time. So if we pull all these forces together, we have the capacity to make this nation take us into account. We must do it." Jackson turns to another reporter in anticipation of another question, and the clip ends.

The third segment of the clip, approximately three and a half minutes long, includes more footage of Jackson responding to questions from reporters at the same location in front of the West Hunter Street Baptist Church. The clip begins with Jackson promoting the strength and success of relationships established between PUSH, SCLC, and other social service organizations. Next, an African American reporter, presumably WSB reporter Walt Elder, asks Jackson about his split with Abernathy, and if his visit to Abernathy's church in Atlanta signified a mend in their relationship. Jackson asserts that he and Abernathy had no personal conflicts, and that the two leaders had mutually ventured to build a new organizational relationship. He affirms that those who had sensed a conflict between the two leaders are now pleased to see them working together; he is pleased as well. Elder then follows up his previous question by asking about the efficacy of the coalition between PUSH and SCLC; his question is cut short by a break in the clip. Next, another African American reporter asks a question about Jackson's impression of the African American community; the beginning of his question is not recorded. Jackson opines that the Nixon administration has spent "a far greater commitment to expanding the opportunities for the rich in China and Russia, in terms of more cheap labor bases and cheap labor markets." Referring to the Nixon administration's proposed cuts to social services, he adds "there are four white persons for every one black person affected by what Nixon's proposing . . . when black folks are hungry, we demand steak and gravy. The white folks demand Jim Crow." He then advocates organizing against companies that profit from African American consumers, yet refuse to place African Americans in positions of leadership, noting "if we began to consolidate our consumer strength, we could bring most of these giants down to their knees." Elder asks Jackson for his opinion about whether or not he thinks the civil rights movement ended after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jackson replies that the movement has "been in a valley," one reason for this being that African Americans "have basically won our civil rights, as a matter of protecting them." Following up, Jackson says "Now we have the right to go to any school in America, but we can't pay the tuition. We have the right to move into any neighborhood, but we can't pay the house notes. So we have now entered a civil economics era. And where we would have gone to the Justice Department seeking the right to vote in [19]65, or we'd have gone to the Supreme Court dealing with school desegregation in [19]54, and we would have gone to HEW [the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare] to deal with the War on Poverty in the middle [19]60s. Now we're talking about going to the Treasury Department, and the Commerce Department, and the Labor Department. The whole emphasis of the movement has shifted . . ." Elder asks Jackson to clarify his point by asking "And you're saying that it was never over, it's just been the shift that's taken place?" Jackson responds "Well, not only has it not been over, but a lot of activity has gone on, but the focus of the nation has shifted from civil rights as a priority. The nation has been more preoccupied with killing in Vietnam than it has healing in America." Jackson's further comments are cut off at the end of the clip.

On March 4, 1973, Reverend Jesse Jackson, president of PUSH, spoke at West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, a visit that reunited him with Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy, the church's pastor, and president of SCLC. The renewed alliance of the two civil rights leaders was part of an organized effort of national civil rights groups to unite in protest against the Nixon administration's proposed elimination of federal social welfare programs. Jackson, a former member of SCLC, was chosen by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966 to lead the Chicago offices of Operation Breadbasket, an SCLC initiative that envisioned and utilized the bargaining power of African American church leaders and their congregations to negotiate fair employment for African Americans in their local communities. Having made the Chicago program a success, Jackson rose to become Operation Breadbasket's national director in 1967. Jackson served in this position until 1971, when he resigned from SCLC over disagreements with Abernathy about fundraising and relocating Operation Breadbasket's headquarters to Atlanta (Abernathy having since become SCLC's president after King's assassination). Remaining in Chicago, Jackson restructured Operation Breadbasket resources to create Operation PUSH (originally People United to Save Humanity, then revised to People United to Serve Humanity). PUSH expanded upon Operation Breadbasket's mission to strengthen economic opportunities for African Americans in the business community by also seeking and developing social and political prospects for African Americans.

Title supplied by cataloger.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.

Types:Moving images | News | Unedited footage
Subjects:Elder, Walt | Abernathy, Ralph, 1926-1990 | Jackson, Jesse, 1941- | African American men--Georgia--Atlanta | African American clergy--Georgia--Atlanta | Pedestrians--Georgia--Atlanta | Television camera operators--Georgia--Atlanta | Reporters and reporting--Georgia--Atlanta | Church buildings--Georgia--Atlanta | Facades--Georgia--Atlanta | Church doors--Georgia--Atlanta | Church doorways--Georgia--Atlanta | African American churches--Georgia--Atlanta | City churches--Georgia--Atlanta | African American clergy--Illinois--Chicago | African American civil rights workers--Georgia--Atlanta | African American civil rights workers--Illinois--Chicago | Civil rights--Religious aspects--Christianity | Church and social problems | Church and social problems--Georgia--Atlanta | Church and social problems--Protestant churches | Church and the press--Georgia--Atlanta | Church attendance--Georgia--Atlanta | Church membership--Georgia--Atlanta | Church history--20th century | Church publicity--Georgia--Atlanta | Church public relations--Georgia--Atlanta | Church work with African Americans | Church work with African Americans--Georgia--Atlanta | Church work with the poor | Church work with the poor--Georgia--Atlanta | Coalitions--Georgia--Atlanta | Coalitions--Illinois--Chicago | Church signs--Georgia--Atlanta | Christian leadership | Christian leadership--Georgia--Atlanta | Reunions--Georgia--Atlanta | Reconciliation | Economic assistance, Domestic--United States | Public welfare--United States | Social policy | City and town life--United States--20th century | Community life--United States--20th century | Civic improvement--United States--20th century | Political culture--United States--20th century | Political participation--United States--20th century | Poverty--Government policy--United States--History--20th century | Economic assistance, Domestic--United States--History--20th century | Poverty--United States | Poverty--Georgia | Economic assistance, Domestic--United States | Social service--Georgia--Atlanta | Community-based social services--Georgia--Atlanta | African American consumers--Georgia--Atlanta | Consumers--Georgia--Atlanta | Boycotts--Georgia--Atlanta | Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Georgia--Atlanta | Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Public opinion | Business relocation--Economic aspects--United States | Working class--United States--History--20th century | African Americans--Employment--History | Labor--United States--History | African American civil rights workers--Illinois--Chicago | Civil rights workers--Illinois--Chicago | African American civil rights workers--Georgia--Atlanta | Civil rights workers--Georgia--Atlanta | Civil rights workers--Attitudes | African American civil rights workers--Attitudes | African Americans--Segregation--Georgia--Atlanta | Microphone | Baptists--Georgia--Atlanta | Baptist church buildings--Georgia--Atlanta | Poverty--Georgia--United States | United States--Politics and government--1969-1974 | United States--Economic conditions--1969-1974 | United States--Social policy | United States--Economic policy | United States--Social conditions--20th century | United States--Politics and government--20th century | Soviet Union--Foreign relations--1953-1975 | China--Foreign relations--1949-1976 | United States--Foreign economic relations--China | China--Foreign economic relations--United States | United States--Foreign economic relations--Soviet Union | Soviet Union--Foreign economic relations--United States | West Hunter Street Baptist Church (Atlanta, Ga.) | Southern Christian Leadership Conference | Operation PUSH (U.S.) | United States. Dept. of Justice | United States. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare | United States. Dept. of Labor | United States. Dept. of Commerce | United States. Dept. of the Treasury | United States. Supreme Court | Atlanta (Ga.) | Fulton County (Ga.) | Chicago (Ill.) | Cook County (Ill.) | China | Soviet Union
Collection:WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection
Institution:Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Contributors:Elder, Walt | Jackson, Jesse, 1941- | Elder, Walt | Digital Library of Georgia | Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection | Civil Rights Digital Library Collection (Digital Library of Georgia)
Online Publisher:Athens, Ga. : Digital Library of Georgia and Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia Libraries | 2007
Original Material:

1 clip (about 1 min.): color, sound ; 16 mm.

1 clip (about 1 min.): color, sound ; 16 mm.

1 clip (b-roll): color, sound ; 16 mm.

Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection.

Rights and Usage:

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Jesse Jackson talking about the civil rights movement's change in tactics, West Hunter Street Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, 1973 March 4, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1914, 45:51/46:45, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Related Materials:

Forms part of: Civil Rights Digital Library.

Persistent Link to Item:http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/crdl/id:ugabma_wsbn_20982