In this WSB newsfilm clip from Atlanta, Georgia, dated April 4, 1969, demonstrators protest the Vietnam War on the one-year anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination; King is also memorialized in a video montage.
The clip is divided into two segments, both containing audio. The first segment opens with a shot of a protest march; a group of mostly white demonstrators make their way down the street, some carry handmade or printed signs. Some of the signs read: "War profit is blood money," "Make his dream a reality end war poverty racism," "Dr. King died April 4, 1968 for all mankind," "Amnesty fOr all war protestors," "Anti-war, pro GI," and "End war now." Audio for the clip consists mostly of background noise until the camera pans left across the parade of demonstrators; the shot ends on a group stalled by a bottleneck in the procession route. At this point, an amplified voice sings "We Shall Overcome," a group of demonstrators shout "Peace now!" and a reporter instructs the sound engineer to keep the microphone on the crowd noise. The next shot in the first segment includes a large gathering of African American and white demonstrators as they listen to a speaker calling for an end to the war in Vietnam. The camera pans across the crowd to the right; the shot then breaks and the camera pans in the opposite direction while the crowd sings "We Shall Overcome." Throughout the crowd, demonstrators hold signs and banners; some raise their fists or make v-signs for peace.
The second segment of the clip is a b-roll montage memorializing King that begins with a shot of the facade of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, followed by several shots from the inside of the church that include a portrait of King, the church pulpit, and a close-up of a prayer book. The montage continues with a still photograph of King's funeral cortege amidst a crowd of mourners, then a motion shot of King's grave and the eternal flame that accompanies it. A second shot of King's grave zooms in on the inscription on King's tombstone, and closes in on the year 1968, the year King died. The last shot in this clip is of a cemetery, presumably Atlanta's South-View Cemetery, where King was originally buried (his remains were removed from South-View in 1970). The audio for this segment consists mostly of background noise and conversational fragments.
On Easter Sunday, April 6, 1969, a march dedicated to King was held in Atlanta on the one-year anniversary of his assassination. The march began at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue, paused at the state Capitol to pick up vigil-keepers, proceeded through the Five Points business district, and ended at Hurt Park, where Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy and others addressed approximately four thousand participants at a rally. Some of the other speakers at the rally included Dave Dellinger, chairman of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam; Luis Melendez, an organizer for California grape pickers, and Jeannette Rankin, former Georgia congresswoman and anti-war activist.
Title originally read "WSB-TV newsfilm clip of a demonstration against the Vietnam War commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, Atlanta, Georgia, 1969 April 4." Further research of events in the clip determine that the footage was recorded on April 6, 1969.
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 a demonstration against the Vietnam War commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, Atlanta, Georgia, 1969 April 6, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1536, 49:43/51:18, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.