This week on From the Vault we will hear an extraordinary documentary about the events that transpired in Albany, Georgia in November, 1961. Produced by Alan Lomax, renowned folklorist and field sound collector, and Guy Carawan, longtime music director of the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee, this program masterfully weaves field recordings and narrative to tell the story of the residents of Albany and their efforts to eliminate segregation in their city through the voter registration movement. Civil Rights scholars recognize that while not every goal of the Albany campaign was successful, the protests in Albany did achieve the primary goal of desegregating the town, and there is general agreement that the Albany movement was a formative learning experience and critical benchmark in the career of Martin Luther King, Jr., who participated in the protests at the invitation of local city leaders. The 1961 Albany march is now credited with educating and energizing the Civil Rights Movement for future actions in Birmingham (1963), Washington (1963), Mississippi (1964), and Selma (1965), to name a few.
Our special guest is Mr. W. Frank Wilson, Executive Director of the Albany Civil Rights Institute, who comments on the Albany campaign in relation to the national Civil Rights movement at the time.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.
PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.