analytical Essay
854 words
854 words

In 1903, W.E. DuBois wrote in his book The Soul of Black Folk that Albany, Georgia was “a typical Southern country town, the center of the life of ten thousand souls.” In Albany, a “Negro is born in a segregated hospital, grows up in a segregated neighborhood, goes to a segregated school, and is buried in a segregated cemetery.” Segregation and Jim Crow laws were a normal way of life, and everyone seemed to know their place. However, things in America were ripe for change, and change needed to start someplace. White Americans of the Deep South held on to the mores that were labeled as segregation, and the African Americans began to push forward with a sheer determination to change. Two points must be noted about the impending changes, “on one hand, Negro determination and willingness to act; and, on the other, the willful or inert resistance of white persons and their institutions.” In 1961, a campaign that began in Albany, Georgia would offer a small spark of hope for African Americans. Protestors were taking their argument to the streets. These efforts to fight segregation would fail on one level due to a lack of press and a determined police chief, however, the bigger picture of what happened in Albany would lay the groundwork for more successful battles, such as what would happen in Birmingham. In the beginning months of 1961, there was little evidence that would indicate that Albany would be a stop in the Civil Right Movement. In the book The Southern Mystique, Howard Zinn suggests that “perhaps it had been shaken by the sit-ins, freedom rides, and the boycotts which had been successful elsewhere in the South.” Nonetheless, one thing was for sure, things were beginning to transform. In February, the city commissioners... ... middle of paper ... ...the very segregated town. At the end of 1962, it was evident that the overall efforts in Albany were not going to provide the media attention that was needed to make progress in the Civil Rights Movement. A lot of this failure was due to the calculated actions of police chief Pritchett. His unwillingness to allow the jail cells to fill, and his unwillingness to allow the protest to spark any sort of media attention, had prevented any progress. In the book A Fire you Can’t Put Out, historian and author Dr. Andrew Manis informs, “in the first attempt at massive direct action against segregation in Albany, King and the SCLC were perceived as having faltered.” However, what Albany did do for the Civil Rights Movement was to lay the groundwork for something that would be much more productive, that would be the actions that would soon unfold in Birmingham, Alabama.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that in 1903, w.e. dubois wrote that albany, georgia was a typical southern country town, the center of the life of ten thousand souls.
  • Explains that in 1961, there was little evidence that albany would be a stop in the civil right movement. the atlanta based student non-violent coordinating committee (sncc) sparked one of the largest black demonstration efforts since the montgomery bus boycott
  • Describes how the albany campaign consisted of mass arrests of working-class african americans, which led to the jails filling up.
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