In this WSB newsfilm clip probably from April 25, 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to reporters at a press conference held at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia about presidential candidates for the 1968 election; the Vietnam War; and interactions with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) leader Stokely Carmichael. Comments in the clip are not always completely recorded. Dr. King sits at a table with microphones in ...
In this WSB newsfilm clip probably from April 25, 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to reporters at a press conference held at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia about presidential candidates for the 1968 election; the Vietnam War; and interactions with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) leader Stokely Carmichael. Comments in the clip are not always completely recorded. Dr. King sits at a table with microphones in front of him. Fellow Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) leader reverend Andrew Young stands beside him. King begins by mentioning newspaper articles advocating that he become a presidential candidate for the 1968 election; he announces that he will not do so. Next King warns of a potential national disaster if the United States government continues to focus on war at the expense of racial equality. Even if the Vietnam War escalates and "make relevant an independent candidacy" King proclaims that he will not consider a political office. When an off-screen reporter asks King who he thinks would make a good candidate for president King avoids the question by asserting his hope for an end of the Vietnam War, which he believes would make an independent candidacy unnecessary, and reiterating that SCLC does not endorse political candidates. Although he has no basis for his hope that the war will end King believes that millions of citizens will "oppose this war very vigorously" and that this opposition to the war will encourage the government to change its position. After this the discussion turns to SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael; although King and Carmichael do not agree on everything King points out they both oppose the Vietnam War and encourage African American freedom in the United States. King suggests that there are some positive aspects to the "black power" slogan as long as the slogan does not involve or embrace violence. King cites a conflict between what Carmichael has said to him privately that opposes violence and what the media portrays as Carmichael's position advocating violence. King attributes a recent conflict in Nashville, Tennessee following a Carmichael appearance to existing conditions of poverty, police brutality, and despair, not to Carmichael. After a break in the clip King suggests that African Americans are capable of being president but have been unable to do so because they have been "held out of the political arena." Asked about a possibility of Alabama governor George Wallace as a presidential candidate King condemns Wallace for "eighteenth century thinking that has no place in the twentieth century." He insists that a Wallace campaign would "create the atmosphere for new bigotry, new hatred, and ultimately new violence." The clip ends with King commenting again about the Vietnam War, proposing that if the boxer Cassius Clay, known also as Muhammad Ali, is jailed for refusing to go to war, other young men in the country will consider the possibility of refusing the draft. Muhammad Ali was convicted of refusing induction into the army and was stripped of his professional boxing titles in 1967. 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. Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection.