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WSB-TV newsfilm clip of a reporter speaking to Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield about race relations in Atlanta, Georgia and about the Freedom Rides, Washington, D.C., 1961 May 25

@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

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


In this WSB newsfilm clip from Washington D.C. on May 25, 1961, Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield speaks to a reporter about the Freedom Rides and about race relations in Atlanta, Georgia.The clip begins with Mayor Hartsfield standing outside near an unidentified building. An off-screen reporter asks Hartsfield about his reaction to the Freedom Ride. The Freedom Ride began as an interracial journey through the South testing segregated transportation facilities and was sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a New York-based Civil Rights organization. Hartsfield reports that he did not hear about the Freedom Ride until after they passed through Atlanta. Blaming "publicity that put some people under tension," he recognizes that both the Freedom Riders and the white community made mistakes in the situation. Hartsfield acknowledges that African American citizens deserve full freedom everywhere; he also calls for restraint and compares efforts to force confrontation to digging holes in wet sand. Although he is saddened by the violence and arrests in Alabama and Mississippi, Hartsfield expresses pride that there were no confrontations with the Freedom Riders while they were in Atlanta or in Georgia. He explains that people in Atlanta are too busy building a great city to hate others. Continuing, he asserts that he and other leaders in Atlanta are working together to improve race relations and help African Americans obtain their rights.The reporter then asks Hartsfield about his recent meeting with United States president John F. Kennedy. On May 25, Hartsfield and three other leaders...

Record Contributed By

Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

Record Harvested From

Digital Library of Georgia