• WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking of African American civil rights, including voting rights, Augusta, Georgia, 1962 April 2.

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    WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking of African American civil rights, including voting rights, Augusta, Georgia, 1962 April 2
    • Date
    • 1962 April 2
    • Creator
    • WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
    • Description
    • In this WSB newsfilm clip, given in a church in Augusta, Georgia, April 2, 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shares his call for a "Second Emancipation Proclamation," and presents the goal of doubling the number of registered African Americ... more
      In this WSB newsfilm clip, given in a church in Augusta, Georgia, April 2, 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shares his call for a "Second Emancipation Proclamation," and presents the goal of doubling the number of registered African American voters in the South. King describes his October 1961 request to President John F. Kennedy to issue a "Second Emancipation Proclamation," symbolically freeing African Americans from discrimination and marking the centennial of President Abraham Lincoln's initial declaration. King also addressed the issue of African American voting, saying "one of the most significant steps that the Negro can take at this hour is that short walk to the voting booth." The statement was made in advance of intensified voter registration efforts by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and their work with the Voter Education Project (VEP) with the goal of doubling the number of registered African American voters in the South. King proposed that every Southern church should have a social action committee with the motto of "Every member ... a registered voter." King quips that "even Mr. Roy Harris respects votes." Roy V. Harris, Augusta native and former Speaker of the house in the Georgia House of Representatives, was considered a "master of white-only, rural-dominated politics" and was known to staunchly support segregation. The selections of King's comments end with affirmations that although those in the movement may face violence, jail, death, and slander, ultimately, "we shall overcome." After a period of applause for Dr. King's remarks, reverend C. S. Hamilton, leader of the Civil Rights movement in Augusta, speaks about the plans for the week of the Masters Golf Tournament, including mass meetings celebrating the week and newspaper sales. less
    • Rights
    • Courtesy of Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Award Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga. Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking of African American civil rights, including voting rights... more
      Courtesy of Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Award Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga. Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking of African American civil rights, including voting rights, Augusta, Georgia, 1962 April 2, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0051, 00:00/09:29, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga less
    • Partner
    • Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection; Digital Library of Georgia
    • Contributing Institution
    • Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

In March 1960, students from Augusta's historically black Paine College initiated the direct action phase of the city's civil rights movement when they organized sit-ins at area department stores. Biracial negotiations ensued, but the white negotiating committee ultimately reneged on their commitment to desegregate the city's lunch counters. White intransigence continued to foil the city's student-led reform movement until April 1962 when local businessmen reopened negotiations with student leaders to forestall negative publicity in advance of the U.S. Masters Golf Tournament. Although a small number of stores desegregated before negotiations concluded, Augusta experienced little integration prior to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Racial tensions continued to simmer after the passage of federal legislation, however, and ultimately reached a boiling point in May 1970 when race riots erupted throughout the city.