WSB-TV newsfilm clip of mayor T. Griffin Walker addressing the demands of the Sumter County Movement in Americus, Georgia, 1965 July 31
@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
DescriptionIn this WSB newsfilm clip from July 31, 1965, T. Griffin Walker, mayor of Americus, Georgia, addresses the demands of the Sumter County Movement and urges an end to demonstrations and other protests at a press conference. The clip begins with Mayor Walker reviewing the United States District Court ruling issued the previous day, which orders the end of segregated elections and the release of four prisoners arrested for attempting to integrate a Sumter County election. Walker hopes the Movement will be satisfied with the court's actions, as they are not under the city's jurisdiction; he urges Movement members to halt demonstrations and suggests that the group take its other demands, including the hiring of African American voting registrars, to the courts. He explains that he and the city council met with three local African American leaders on Monday, July 26, but that the issues discussed at the meeting could not be resolved. He claims that he and the council will continue to consider issues brought to their attention; however, he suggests that the creation of a biracial committee, another demand of the Sumter County Movement, would remain ineffective as long as emotions run so high. Instead, he recommends ceasing demonstrations in order to encourage a cooling-off period; he emphasizes again that demonstrations do nothing "but to create additional strife and problems." Blaming outsiders for the current problems, Walker reaffirms that the city council will work directly with local citizens, both African American and white, to resolve "legitimate problems." Outside...