WSB-TV newsfilm clip of president John F. Kennedy in a press conference expressing his satisfaction with progress in resolving racial conflicts in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 May 8
@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
DescriptionIn this WSB newsfilm clip from a May 8, 1963 news conference President John F. Kennedy expresses his satisfaction with the recent progress in the resolution of racial conflicts in Birmingham, Alabama. President Kennedy reports that the Department of Justice is investigating alleged voter discrimination in Birmingham, and has supported efforts in the Supreme Court to remove the city's segregation ordinances. He confirms that the administration's primary goal is to foster communication in the resolution of African American concerns; the administration believes that federal civil rights statutes have not been violated during the current crisis. Burke Marshall, assistant attorney general, representing President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy in Birmingham is working "to halt a spectacle which was seriously damaging the reputation of both Birmingham and the country." President Kennedy praises the business community's pledge to address "the justifiable needs" of local African Americans. He explains that civil rights leaders agreed to end demonstrations, and that Albert Boutwell, the newly-elected mayor, had pledged that that the city would commit itself "wholeheartedly to continuing progress in this area." Kennedy hopes that the conflict will remind other communities of the importance of "equal opportunity and treatment." He concludes by urging the continued "constructive and cooperative efforts" of both black and whites. While the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) had led civil rights efforts in Birmingham for several years, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) began assisting with concentrated actions against segregation on April 3, 1963. Local merchants, effected by a...