Reporter: Greneker, Gene.
In this WSB newsfilm clip from March 6, 1967 reporter Gene Greneker interviews Hulon Shah of the Nation of Islam following the arrest and police beating of five members of the Nation of Islam in Atlanta, Georgia. The clip contains several breaks; statements may not be completely recorded. The clip begins with the camera focusing on Hulon Shah, an African American man in a suit, bow tie, and a small, round, brimless cap with the initials F.O.I. on it. The initials on the cap, also known as a kufi, stand for "Fruit of Islam," the wing of the Nation of Islam responsible for security. On either side of Shah stand African American men in suits and bow ties; one of the men on the left wears sunglasses. Shaw reports that after the five members of the Nation of Islam were arrested and brought to the police station for processing, he arrived at 11:30 pm with one hundred dollars bond for each of the men and was told they would be released in another hour. When Shah and those with him returned at 12:15, the police informed him the men had attacked the police and were now being held on ten thousand five hundred dollars bond each. Shah indicates that after he spoke with the men in police custody, the men reported being beaten "viciously and inhumanly, kicked about the body, kicked in the ribs, and beaten about the head."
Reporter Greneker adjusts some cords, and the camera focuses on several African American men standing together. Greneker speaks with a man off-screen and then asks Shah to repeat his story of the previous night's events. Shah claims the men were illegally arrested for defending themselves and threatened by police that they "would not be able to live through tonight." The officers beat the incarcerated men with "crowbars, sledge hammers, and hacksaws." Greneker mentions that the police allege they were attacked by the men; Shah asserts that members of the Nation of Islam are only taught to defend themselves and that they are "a people of peace."
The clip breaks for a moment and the camera focuses on the African American men; the man in sunglasses wears a fedora and the man to the right of Shah wears what appears to be a knit cap. Asked the plan of action, Shah reports that they have filed a formal complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Department of Justice. He also discloses that the Nation of Islam will be in court with their attorneys. Greneker then asks several questions to splice into edited footage later; neither Shah nor the men with him respond to these questions. Finally Greneker asks if Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) head Stokely Carmichael has ever sold the Nation of Islam newspaper. Shah replies that he believes Carmichael, a subscriber, has circulated the newspaper among friends although he has not formally sold the newspapers.
On March 5, 1967 five men from the Nation of Islam were arrested after they allegedly argued with two African American men while selling the newspaper of the Nation of Islam. The men also allegedly attacked the police officers who responded to the disturbance and other policemen during the booking process at the police station. Charged with "assault with attempt to murder" the policemen, the bond for the men was raised from one hundred dollars to ten thousand five hundred dollars. Hulon Shah, leader of the Mohammad Mosque number fifteen in Atlanta later renounced the Nation of Islam and started the Nation of Yahweh cult in Miami, Florida before spending ten years in jail for conspiracy.
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.
|Rights and Usage:|
Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of reporter Gene Greneker interviewing local Nation of Islam leader Hulon Shah following the arrest and police beating of five men from the Nation of Islam, Atlanta, Georgia, 1967 March 6, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1376, 8:22/12:58, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.