In this WSB newsfilm clip from Macon, Georgia in February 1962, local attorney Charles J. Bloch speaks to an audience about boycotts and race relations. The clip begins with Charles J. Bloch standing behind a lectern; another white man, possibly Albany Herald editor James Gray, sits behind Bloch. Bloch explains that he first heard the word "boycott" when he was a child. When one boy would get mad at another, he would try to convince other friends that they "ought to have nothing to do with him." Bloch says that he has never liked the idea of boycotts, either as a child or as an adult. He proposes that "good men and good women" should let those who are boycotted know of their support. Audience applause interrupts Bloch's comments for a moment before he continues by saying that the question of race "is purely a political, legal question." Speaking rhetorically, he asks the audience how segregation became "irreligious on May 17, 1954"--the day the United States Supreme Court ruled against segregation in the Brown vs. Board of Education court case. The clip ends with the audience again applauding Bloch. On February 9, 1962, four African American ministers sat in the front of the bus in Macon, Georgia and were arrested when they refused to move to the back of the bus. Macon African Americans organized a bus boycott against the Bibb Transit Company beginning February 12 which was nearly one-hundred-percent effective. Groups of white Macon citizens tried to counteract the effects of the boycott by "ride-ins" and 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 ruled unconstitutional a number of Georgia laws calling for the separate seating of races on buses. Bootle also restrained the Bibb Transit Company from enforcing segregated travel; the bus boycott ended March 4, 1962. Macon attorney Charles J. Bloch was considered a constitutional authority who wrote in favor of states rights and was asked to testify before the United States Congress on several occasions.
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.
Local identification number: Clip number: wsbn40681