In this WSB newsfilm clip, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks at an outdoor press conference in Albany, Georgia, on Wednesday, July 25, 1962, addressing the previous night's altercation when angry onlookers began throwing rocks and bottles at the police who were arresting demonstrators. While neither the demonstrators nor the leaders of the Albany Movement were violent during the disturbance, King says that the civil rights movement abhors violence so much that they are compelled to assume some responsibility for any destructive behavior of African Americans who were present. In response to the dispute, civil rights leaders declare a "day of penance" in which there will be no demonstrations and ask that those who adhere to nonviolent principles pray for those who have not yet assimilated them. King regrets that violence plays into the hands of segregationists, and that public officials are exploiting the outbreak "for their own political capital." King also announces afternoon plans to take a team disciplined in nonviolence into businesses, pool halls, and taverns of Albany's Harlem neighborhood to educate residents about appropriate nonviolent tactics and to encourage their practice. As explanations for the crowd's actions, King cites the July 23, 1962 beating of a pregnant Marion King, the pregnant wife of Slater King, no relation to Martin Luther King, by guards in Camilla, Georgia; and the April 15, 1962 slaying of Albany African American restaurant owner Walter Harris by local police. He avows, however, that these are not excuses. African Americans may develop a sense of discontent and at times bitterness after being the victims of so much violence. King states that although he believes that only a small minority of the activists have been violent, the movement will reconsider scheduling night demonstrations. Demonstrations at any time, day or night, will only resume if a commitment to nonviolence is demonstrated in the Albany community; King is optimistic that this will prove to be the case.
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 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking about nonviolence at an outdoor press conference after violence during a night march in Albany, Georgia, 1962 July 25, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0899, 30:21/36:40, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.