On July 20, 1962, Federal District
Court Judge Robert J. Elliot issued a temporary restraining order
to halt demonstrations by participants in the Albany
Movement. The document specifically named the leaders of the
movement, including the
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph
William G. Anderson, and Charles
While those leaders did abide by the order, other Movement participants
refused to halt their demonstrations. That same night, prominent Albany activist
Reverend Samuel Wells went to Shiloh Baptist Church and gathered
almost one hundred and sixty people for a demonstration. All who
took part, including the Reverend Wells, were arrested.
Two days later, on July 22, 1962, Marion King, the
wife of Albany Movement vice president Slater
King, traveled to a jail in the nearby town of Camilla, Georgia,
to take food to some of the people who had been arrested for the
July 20 demonstrations in Albany. The guards at the jail ordered
her to leave. Mrs. King, who was pregnant, carrying one child in
her arms, and accompanied by two other children, failed to move
quickly enough for the guards. The sheriff’s deputy cursed at her,
and she responded that he could arrest her if he wanted to. The
deputy then knocked Mrs. King down and kicked her until she was
On July 24, Judge
Elbert P. Tuttle of the U.S. Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit
overturned Judge Elliot’s order against demonstrations. The next
day, two thousand members of Albany’s black community marched
through the city’s streets to express their anger over Mrs. Marion
King’s beating. Many of the teenage demonstrators threw bricks,
rocks, and bottles at the Albany police, who did not commit any
violence against the protestors. This demonstration represented
the first time during the Albany Movement that the protestors
abandoned their practice of nonviolence.
These displays of violence prompted Dr. King on July
25, to ask for a “Day of Penance” among the blacks in the community
and to request that any further marches be halted. In this WSB clip, Dr. King, Abernathy,
and Sherrod visited the city’s pool halls and bars to talk to blacks,
especially the black youth. After gathering the group of youth around him, King reminds them of the goals of the
Albany Movement and of the methods that should be used to achieve
those goals. The leaders speak in Dick Gay's Cue Room. Two
white detectives sent by Albany police chief Laurie
television crews accompanied the three men.
WSB clip shows an informal side of Dr. King that contrasts
with his well-known national image as a speaker and leader. By
visiting the pool hall, Dr. King recognizes the central role that
youth played in the Albany Movement. Finally, we see how difficult
it was for activists to maintain nonviolence in
the face of constant bigotry.
Resources (click here)
1. How did young people define the Albany Movement
in response to their own needs?
2. Do you think that the young people in this clip
are open to the guidance of Dr. King and Reverend Abernathy? Why
or why not?
3. Click on this link to Kodak's Powerful
Days in Black and White web site. Compare the young
people in the 1962 clip from Albany, Georgia, that you have just
viewed to the black youths in Birmingham, Alabama, who
are taunting a police officer in this photograph
taken by Charles
Moore in 1963. What
is similar and different about the two groups of young African Americans? What
may have changed for them in the South in a year's time, between
1962 and 1963?
4. Browse the photographs in Powerful
Days in Black and White of segregationists and segregationist
organizations. What role does violence seem to play in these
images? On the other hand, what civil rights groups in the
South advocated violence, and how did they justify this position?
5. What kind of
language underscored the inferiority of African Americans and women,
and how did members of these two groups resist this language?
Take it to the Streets!
Act out a scene from your neighborhood or school involving conflict:
for example, bullying, name-calling, or disrespecting your peers.
Then, write an action plan that explains how to respond to such
conflicts in peaceful, nonviolent ways. When you have finished,
act out the conflict again, this time using your action plan.
Work with a group of classmates to select four or five contemporary
songs that are getting heavy airplay on one of your local radio
stations. How do the songs depict men and women? How do they depict
members of minority groups? What does the language of the songs
suggest about attitudes based on differences of gender and color?
Write a short essay analyzing one or two of these songs and the
attitudes towards minority groups that the lyrics suggest.
Develop a photo-essay about young people in your school or organization. Share
a disposable camera with one or two classmates, and divide the pictures
between you once they have been developed. Assemble
your photographs in a notebook or poster, making sure to include
one or two paragraphs that describe the person in
each photograph and that discuss how he or she contributes to a family
Writer: Courtney Thomas
Deborah Stanley and Diane Trap
Lauren Chambers, Aggie Ebrahimi, Courtney Thomas, and Professor
Site Designer: William Weems
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