In this WSB newsfilm clip from December 4, 1963, A. T. Walden and an unidentified African American man speak to reporters about the work of the Summit Leadership Conference, an organization to coordinate civil rights work in Atlanta. The clip's audio is inconsistent; some statements may be recorded incompletely. The clip begins with African American attorney A. T. Walden, co-chair of the Summit Leadership Conference (SLC), reporting on meetings between the conference leaders and local organizations, such as the local hotel and restaurant associations and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. During these meetings SLC members presented African American "areas of concern" in a document titled, "Action for Democracy." Walden states that after members of the Summit Leadership Conference met with the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber made a public statement approving the integration of public service businesses and supporting requests for improved economic opportunities for African Americans. Furthermore, the chamber stated it would cooperate with any groups seeking to address the issues outlined in SLC's report. Walden also speaks of a maeeting of nearly one hundred. The group agreed upon a set of unnamed principles. Walden concludes by speaking of an event that will be held before the fifteenth of December. When asked by an off-screen reporter asks if the event will be similar to the March on Washington held in August of that year, Walden affirms that it will resemble the march and expects it to be "quite as orderly in its deportment as was the Washington crowd." Another off-screen reporter asks a question that is hard to hear; Walden replies that while the number of participants in the event is difficult to anticipate, the conference hopes for "many thousands" since they are asking religious leaders to encourage and to lead members of their congregation in the event. On December 15 the Summit Leadership Conference held the "Pilgrimage for Democracy" march to Hurt Park in Atlanta with the stated goals of sharing the work of the committee with the community; providing a unity of purpose in the civil rights movement; and demonstrating a willingness to work until objectives are met. Civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at the "Pilgrimage for Democracy"; unfortunately unseasonably cold weather kept the total number of participants to around three thousand, much less than the amount for which the Summit Leadership Conference hoped. Next, an unidentified African American man explains that the Summit Leadership Conference is a coordinating group, and that the Summit Leadership Conference will be supportive if an organization wanted to hold a protest or demonstration before the December 15 event. Walden then confirms the conference will meet with the city's personnel board soon as the last scheduled meeting between the organization and city leadership. He also indicates that during discussions with other groups the conference was "received respectfully and cordially" and that they did not set up deadlines during their meetings. Finally Walden mentions the consensus of a meeting earlier was to pursue a course mentioned before; it is unclear to what meeting or to what decision Walden refers. The Summit Leadership Conference was created as a coordinating body for civil rights groups in Atlanta in October 1963. The group supported a document entitled "Action for Democracy" listing several areas of concern in the African American community including education, health, housing, political activity, public accommodations, and employment; leaders from the conference met with white city and business leaders and discussed the document in the first months of its organization.
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 attorney A. T. Walden and another African American man speaking to reporters about the work of the civil rights coordinating organization the Summit Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, 1963 December 4, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1119, 27:13/34:41, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.