Advertisement

The Lessons of Albany, Georgia, 1961–2

  • James A. Colaiaco

Abstract

The first test of SCLC’s capacity for nonviolent warfare occurred in Albany, Georgia, in 1962. The fifth largest city in the state, with a population of 56 000, 40 per cent black, Albany was a stronghold of racism in the Deep South. The Albany Herald, published by staunch segregationist James Gray, regularly featured editorials and stories supporting white supremacy and urging the City Commission to resist requests by blacks for desegregation. In 1961, most Albany blacks were not registered to vote, and the city’s public facilities, including the bus and railway stations, lunch counters, schools, parks, hospitals and libraries, were completely segregated. As historian Howard Zinn, then a reporter for the Southern Regional Council, observed: ‘In the year 1961, a Negro arrived in Albany on the colored part of the bus, entered a colored waiting room, drank from a colored water fountain, used a colored restroom, walked eight blocks to find a restaurant which would feed him, and travelled six miles to find a good Negro moteľ.1 Albany’s entire justice system was white: the courts were segregated, the jails were segregated; the judges, juries, sheriffs, deputies and the city police were white. Nevertheless, by late 1961, the student sit-ins and the Freedom Rides had exerted an effect upon the city’s black population.

Keywords

Black Community Federal Court Justice Department White Supremacy Voter Registration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Howard Zinn, The Southern Mystique, (New York, 1964), p. 154.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    James Forman, The Making of Black Revolutionaries, 2nd ed. (Washington D.C., 1985), p. 253.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, (Cambridge, Mass., 1981), p. 62.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    John A. RicksIII, ‘“De Lawd” Descends and is Crucified: Martin Luther King, Jr. in Albany Georgia’, The Journal of Southwest Georgia History, II (Fall 1984), p. 6.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Juan Williams, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965, (New York, 1987), p. 170.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    David J. Garrow, Bearing The Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. And The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, (New York, 1986), pp. 203–4, 664.Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Alan F. Westin & Garry Mahoney, The Trial of Martin Luther King, (New York, 1974) p. 45.Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    William Kunstler, Deep in My Heart, (New York, 1966) p. 102.Google Scholar
  9. 27.
    Wm. Roger Witherspoon, Martin Luther King, Jr.… To the Mountain-top, (Garden City, New York, 1985), p. 103.Google Scholar
  10. 29.
    Reese Cleghorn, ‘Martin Luther King, Jr., Apostle of Crisis’, in C. Eric Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Profile, rev. ed. (New York, 1984), p. 124.Google Scholar
  11. 30.
    Malcolm X, ‘Message to the Grass Roots’, in Malcolm X Speaks, ed. by George Breitman (New York, 1965), p. 13.Google Scholar
  12. 36.
    Clayborne Carson, ‘SNCC and the Albany Movement’, The Journal of Southwest Georgia History II (Fall 1984), p. 22.Google Scholar
  13. 39.
    Roy Wilkens, Standing Fast, (New York, 1982), p. 286.Google Scholar
  14. 41.
    David L. Lewis, King: A Biography, 2nd ed. (Chicago, 1978), p. 151.Google Scholar
  15. 42.
    Coretta Scott King, My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr., (New York, 1969), p. 204.Google Scholar
  16. 44.
    William R. Miller, Non-Violence: A Christian Interpretation, (London, 1964) p. 328.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James A. Colaiaco 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Colaiaco
    • 1
  1. 1.BaldwinUSA

Personalised recommendations