In this WSB newsfilm clip from July 18, 1962, James H. Gray, editor of the local newspaper the Albany Herald, condemns local and national civil rights leaders in Albany for using children and students in demonstrations, disrespecting the law, and upsetting the community's peace. The clip's audio begins loud and then fades toward the end.
As the clip begins, Gray criticizes those who "manipulate" students into demonstrating, going to jail, and acquiring criminal records, claiming that they may not understand the reasons behind the movement. He decries the Civil Rights movement as an "unwanted importation which depends on fear and force, primarily, to gain its ends," spurning social justice and breaking the law when convenient for political purposes. To illustrate that the Albany Movement is not really interested in the people or progress of Albany, Gray states that movement accomplishments are limited to ending the bus service, used largely by African Americans, and shutting down the city's Christmas parade, which, he says, was enjoyed by people of all races. Bus service was so heavily impacted by the boycott that it was stopped temporarily January 30, 1962, and ended for good March 6, 1962. Gray continues by calling movement practices "civic blackmail" and states that Albany city officials will stand by principle and uphold the rights of individuals. He asserts that the people of Albany know how to live together "in harmony and decency" and feels that those who disturb the community's peace should be dealt with as "outlaws." His comments dovetail criticism from within the movement of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "comfortable martyrdom:" a willingness to encourage citizens and children to boycott, demonstrate, go to jail or be involved in dangerous protests without taking the same risks himself.
The segment also includes images of African American students attending a meeting in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church and approaching the Albany Carnegie Library.
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.
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Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of James H. Gray, newspaper editor, condemning the methods of civil rights activists in Albany, Georgia, 1962 July 18, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0029, 37:09/42:15, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.