In this WSB newsfilm clip from Macon, Georgia, in February 1962, William P. Randall, civil rights leader and president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) speaks at a mass meeting about a boycott against Macon's segregated bus system.
The clip begins with a bus heading toward "East Macon"; movement seems to indicate people are boarding the bus. However, they are not visible. The bus pulls away from the sidewalk and drives through a downtown street. Next African American women stand in a line along the sidewalk. The women are all dressed in warm clothes. Several cars are parked along the sidewalk, and at one point African American women get into one of the cars.
After this, the clip focuses on William P. Randall as he speaks to an audience at a mass meeting supporting the bus boycott. Randall declares that African American civil rights efforts in Macon will continue "until Macon is the best place to live in Georgia." The audience cheers and applauds. The camera pulls back to show other African American men sitting behind Randall on the dais. Randall assures the audience that they can have confidence in the leaders of the boycott (who are sitting behind him). He asserts "they cannot be intimidated, they cannot be browbeaten, and you just can't scare them." The audience applauds this declaration. Randall expresses pity for people who choose not to join the boycott and proclaims that the boycott will be successful because it is right; because the African American community is willing to fight; and because God is on the side of the boycott. The audience applauds again and the clip ends by focusing on African American men sitting in the front of the church.
On February 9, 1962 four African American ministers from Macon sat down in the front of a bus and were arrested when they refused to move to the back. Macon African Americans organized an extremely effective bus boycott against the Bibb Transit Company beginning February 12. Groups of white Macon citizens tried to counteract the effects of the boycott by participating in "ride-ins" and by buying tokens from bus drivers who sold them door-to-door. On February 27, 1962, the United States Supreme Court declared all segregation in travel within or between states to be illegal. On March 2, United States district court judge William A. Bootle overturned a number of Georgia laws calling for the separate seating of races in buses. Bootle also restrained the Bibb Transit Company from enforcing segregated travel. The bus boycott ended March 4, 1962.
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.