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WSB-TV newsfilm clip of African Americans protesting for the release of arrested women in Americus, Georgia, 1965 July 28

@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)


In this silent WSB newsfilm clip from Americus, Georgia, on July 28, 1965, an organized group of mostly African Americans protest day and night for the release of four African American women who were arrested for standing in the "white" line during an election on July 20. The clip begins with a night demonstration where Georgia state highway patrolmen walk beside the marchers, one of whom has her hair in curlers. The march stops at the Sumter County courthouse, where some of the demonstrators, carrying umbrellas and other rain gear, sit on blankets spread along the sidewalk. Law enforcement officers watch the demonstration; they are equipped with helmets and rifles with bayonets. The demonstrators sing, clap their hands, and listen to Reverend Joseph Campbell, leader of the Sumter County Movement, and Reverend Hosea Williams from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Next, during a day march, demonstrators follow a police car, protected by nearby law-enforcement officers. John Lewis, another SCLC minister, speaks to the listening crowd. Protesters carry signs with slogans including, "Charges dropped and election void," "Break the segregation by voter registration," and "Open registration with a Negro registrar or clerk and additional hours." On July 20, four African American women were arrested at a county-held special election for Justice of the Peace; one of the women arrested was Mary Fishe Bell, the first African American political candidate in Sumter County. After the women's arrest, the Sumter County Movement organized three demonstrations daily to protest the arrest of the...

Record Contributed By

Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

Record Harvested From

Digital Library of Georgia