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WSB-TV newsfilm clip of civil rights workers gathered inside of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, 1961 May 21

@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

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


In this silent black-and-white clip approximately one minute long, civil rights workers including Ralph David Abernathy and possibly John Lewis are gathered inside of Montgomery, Alabama's First Baptist Church, while state and local law officials in Montgomery, Alabama mobilize outside of the church to address activity and crowds outside. Events probably took place on and around the Montgomery Freedom Rides on May 21, 1961.The clip begins with two daytime shots of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama; the first shot is followed by a close-up of the church facade; the church door is open, and people are gathered upon the steps outside. This is followed by a shot of a large crowd of predominantly African American women assembled together inside of a church; some of the women are waving paper fans to cool down. Next, in another shot taken inside the church, Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy (pastor of the First Baptist Church from 1951 to 1961) claps his hands together at the pulpit, while a procession of young African American men walk past the pulpit, and down several steps into the church congregation; he is joined in applause by others in the church. A glimpse of a young civil rights worker, possibly John Lewis, can be seen in the foreground at about sixteen and a half seconds into the clip; he has a bandaged head. A white cameraman takes still photographs of the young men as they make their way into the audience. The clip jumps to a shot...
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Record Contributed By

Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

Record Harvested From

Digital Library of Georgia