In this WSB newsfilm clip from Albany, Georgia, in December, 1961, police detain African American civil rights protesters in an alley; a march leaves Shiloh Baptist Church and is met downtown by Albany police chief Laurie Pritchett; and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to a mass meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church and encourages listeners to continue their struggle against segregation.
The clip begins with a group of African Americans gathered in an alley which is blocked by a car. Policemen are on one side of the car, and cameramen filming the incident are on the other. Several African American men carry an unconscious woman from the alley to the car where police help her inside. Some of the African Americans waiting in the alley examine a camera, comfort each other, and later kneel and pray. Next, images of a mass meeting in Shiloh Baptist Church are interspersed with scenes of a march leaving the church and continuing through the African American section of Albany. March leaders include King, Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy, Dr. William G. Anderson, president of the Albany Movement, and his wife, Norma Anderson. Chief Pritchett addresses the march participants with a bullhorn when they reach downtown. Other African Americans, raingear-clad police, and media representatives observe the march. On Saturday, December 16, 1961, after city officials refused to meet with local black leaders, more than 250 Albany residents joined King, Abernathy, and the Andersons, marched downtown, and were arrested. Finally, the audio portion of the clip begins with scenes of a standing-room-only mass meeting in Shiloh Baptist Church where the congregation sings "Pray on" in a call-and-response style, led by a man, possibly Reverend Benjamin Gay, chaplain of the Albany Movement. King also addresses the meeting, emphasizing that Albany needs to be informed that African Americans do not like segregation. He stresses that segregation is still the "Negro's burden and America's shame;" he notes that by pressing on with anti-segregation demonstrations, that activists could reach beyond Albany's African American community and prove the continuation of segregation to be too costly to the nation. Individuals identified on the dais in the clip include King; Dr. Anderson; Reverend Wyatt Walker, director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); Marion Page, executive secretary of the Albany Movement; and Ruby Hurley, lawyer for the NAACP. At the conclusion of King's speech, the audience sings, "Everybody Wants Freedom." King's speech was probably given December 15, after his arrival in Albany and before his arrest December 16.
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: Series of WSB-TV newsfilm clips of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at a mass meeting as well as a civil rights march and the arrest of marchers in Albany, Georgia, 1961 December, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1039, 46:39/54:23, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.