In this WSB newsfilm clip from July 27, 1969 Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. speaks during a Sunday service at Ebenezer Baptist Church following the death and burial of his son A. D. King. Clip audio is somewhat inconsistent; comments may not be completely recorded. The clip is divided into two segments. The first segment, lasting about eight minutes, begins with Reverend King proclaiming that while he is "tired, worn, frustrated," he remains "anchored in my faith in my God." He invites the congregation to sing the song "We shall overcome" and the camera focuses on the congregation and on Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Reverend King leads the singing by speaking phrases; the camera shows the choir in blue robes and the men sitting on the dais with Reverend King. Reverend King recognizes that Ebenezer Baptist Church, which has lost two co-pastors since April 1968, may struggle but promises that he will stay with the church and urges parishioners not to leave.
In the second clip segment, which is about seven minutes long, he shares some of his grief with the congregation, declaring "I have lost in my own physical being." Although he mourns his sons he pledges that he will continue to live and maintain faith in God. He also vows not to hate white people, reminding the audience that when he gives speeches to white audiences he begins by asserting racial brotherhood. Reverend King expresses his gratitude for his grandchildren as well as for Coretta Scott King and her book "My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr." which he says will be published soon. He emphasizes the importance he feels of ensuring his grandchildren get an education and go to college. While King speaks the camera focuses on the tithing box, stained glass windows, and a row of audience members dressed all in white.
Reverend A. D. King, youngest son of Martin Luther King, Sr. became co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 and continued his work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). After a late SCLC meeting A. D. King was found dead in his pool on the morning of July 21, 1969. Autopsy findings ruled the death accidental.
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 Martin Luther King, Sr. speaking at a Sunday service at Ebenezer Baptist Church following the death of his son A. D. King, Atlanta, Georgia, 1969 July 27, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0051, 38:45/46:59, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.