In this WSB clip from Thursday, June 24, 1971, Atlanta civil rights activist Reverend Joseph E. Boone speaks on behalf of victims of a police assault that took place during several days of rioting in Columbus, Georgia.
The silent clip begins with Atlanta civil rights activist Reverend Joseph E. Boone speaking at a small press conference. Joining him at a table are an African American woman and a young African American man, with a bandaged head and cut lip. This is followed by several close-up shots of each person sitting at the table. The clip ends with a shot of three young African American men gathered around the table with the conference interviewees; one of the young men is taking notes.
Violence broke out in Columbus, Georgia during the spring and summer of 1971 following a series of racially motivated suspensions and firings in the Columbus police department, and consequent protests against the city for its failure to address the grievances of black police officers. Members of the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) helped organize protest marches and demonstrations in Columbus. Even though these events were peaceful, acts of violence still rose throughout the city, and Columbus officials blamed out-of-town SCLC members for inciting the violence themselves. Racial conflicts escalated on June 21, 1971, when a white officer, L. A. Jacks, shot and killed a twenty-year old African American youth named Willie J. Osborne after an alleged armed robbery. The city erupted in numerous riots and arson attacks for days, prompting the Columbus City Council to invoke an emergency ordinance, and Columbus mayor J. R. Allen to declare a state of emergency. Although the state of emergency was lifted after a couple days, the emergency ordinance remained in place for several months.
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.