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- WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection
- Series of WSB-TV newsfilm clips of a press conference with comments by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. about the Freedom Ride, Montgomery, Alabama, 1961 May 23
- WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
- Contributor to Resource:
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
- Date of Original:
- Press conferences--Alabama--Montgomery
African American civil rights workers--Alabama--Montgomery
Civil rights workers--Alabama--Montgomery
Segregation in transportation--Alabama--Montgomery
Civil rights movements--Alabama--Montgomery
Reporters and reporting--Alabama--Montgomery
African Americans--Violence against--Alabama--Montgomery
Freedom Rides, 1961
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968--Interviews
Abernathy, Ralph, 1926-1990
Lewis, John, 1940-2020
Walker, Wyatt Tee
- United States, Alabama, Montgomery County, 32.22026, -86.20761
United States, Alabama, Montgomery County, Montgomery, 32.36681, -86.29997
- moving images
- In this series of WSB-TV newsfilm clips from a press conference about the continuation of the Freedom Ride held in Montgomery, Alabama, on May 23, 1961, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. discusses the imperative to continue the struggle. The clip begins with Dr. King, Reverend Abernathy, and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) president John Lewis sitting down at a table; Lewis has a bandage on his head from injuries he received on May 21 when he and a group of students from Nashville were beaten after arriving in Montgomery. Wyatt Walker, SCLC executive secretary stands in the background. A group of cameramen and reporters line up in front of the table; the group of reporters includes an African American man as well as a white woman. King, apparently responding to a reporter's question, declares that encouraging African Americans to wait passively for their citizenship rights is impractical and immoral and asserts that "the time is always right to do right." He criticizes those who would say civil rights demonstrations and violent white resistance hurts the image of the United States in the international community, replying that "the thing that is hurting us most is the continued existence of segregation and discrimination." The clip ends with King's emphasizing that the struggle for civil rights "is a struggle to save the soul of America." The Freedom Rides, organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) during the summer of 1961, tested federal laws outlawing segregation in travel between states. Two groups of volunteers trained in nonviolence planned to travel from Washington D.C. to New Orleans, leaving May 4. On May 10 both buses were ambushed by violent mobs in Anniston, Alabama, and one bus was ambushed again in Birmingham, injuring Freedom Riders, newsmen, and bystanders. Student civil rights workers from Nashville, Tennessee, went to Montgomery, Alabama to continue the freedom ride and were also beaten. Federal officials sent National Guard troops to Montgomery to restore order and protect the Freedom Riders in their journey. The group was protected until their arrival in Jackson, Mississippi, where they were beaten, arrested, and sent to Parchman Penitentiary; others who later arrived in Jackson to continue the ride were also arrested. Although the Freedom Riders never made it to New Orleans, the federal Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) ruled segregation in travel between states illegal as well as in facilities serving those travelers; the ruling went into effect November 1, 1961.
Title supplied by cataloger.
IMLS Grant, 2008.
Digibeta Center Cut (4 x 3) downconvert from HDD5 1080/23.98PsF film transfer.
- Local Identifier:
- Clip number: wsbn35045
- Metadata URL:
- Digital Object URL:
- IIIF manifest:
- Bibliographic Citation (Cite As):
- Cite as: wsbn35045, Series of WSB-TV newsfilm clips of a press conference with comments by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. about the Freedom Ride, Montgomery, Alabama, 1961 May 23, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0776, 58:02/59:16, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia
- 1 clip (about 1 mins., 14 secs.): black-and-white, sound ; 16 mm.
- Original Collection:
- Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection.
- Contributing Institution:
- Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection