Atlanta Georgia: Protestant Radio and Television Center, 1961. Item #2187
7” diameter reel to reel tape in original mailing box, 60 minutes of audio. Box very good with handwritten notes in crayon, tape reel very good with some scuffs and scratches. An audio interview of some of the founders of the Atlanta Student Movement. In February, 1960 after Julian Bond and Lonnie King discussed the possibility of organizing sit-ins in Atlanta, the presidents of all six colleges of the Atlanta University Center (“AUC”) encouraged them to create a document that defined their position. With several others, they created the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights which drafted “An Appeal for Human Rights. ” It stated that “today's youth will not sit by submissively, while being denied all of the rights, privileges, and joys of life” and laid out multiple societal areas where they sought to end segregation and discrimination. The document was signed by the president of each student body of the AUC and published in Atlanta newspapers on March 9, 1960. The sit-ins began less than one week later, and led to the wave that occurred October 19th, where Lonnie King and Martin Luther King, Jr. Were arrested at Rich's department store. It was the first time MLK would spend the night in jail, despite earlier arrests. ASM members Lonnie King, Herschelle Sullivan, Ben Brown and Charles Black were interviewed on June 8, 1961 by an unidentified man. In a wide ranging discussion the members discussed ASM's purpose and structure, its accomplishments and goals, and a number of other issues. They explained their work on the AUC campuses and what they did to keep the movement going and growing: weekly mass meetings, door to door campaigns where they asked African Americans to avoid downtown during boycotts, training volunteers and more. They discussed the difference between direct action and litigation, and explained that litigation took too long to achieve results. They also pointed out that direct action gave thousands a direct stake in the movement, as opposed to passively looking for news about court fights. All 60 minutes are compelling, with the following barely scratching the surface: --A slightly contentious exchange occurred when the interviewer asked if non-violence generated violence in others. King defined the principal of nonviolence simply as “replacing hate with love. ” One of the ASM members angrily responded, “how can it be possible that those engaging in non-violence be responsible for violence that comes about? ” Black pointed out that violence against non-violent protesters simply helped their cause. --The interviewer asked, “at what point does the Negro assume responsibility for America's face to the world? ” Sullivan said they would all be offended by the question as they were trying to end discrimination, not humiliate the United States abroad. One of them said “if you asked me, 'aren't you embarrassing the United States? ' I'd say 'we've been embarrassed as Negroes all our lives, and it's time we take the embarrassment from us and the United States.' ” He pointed out that there would be no need for their actions if blacks were treated equally. --When asked if the movement created bad publicity that destroyed the goodwill that existed between the races in the South, Smith responded that “any time we had good race relations in the South . . . Is when the negro is subservient to the white person. ” When asked, “Is the Negro ready for integration? ” one response was “the day that a Negro is born in America should entitle him to be ready for all of the freedoms that our constitution sets forth. ” The tape has been professionally digitized and the sound file will accompany the physical media. While OCLC and internet searches reveal no copies of the recording, the University of Georgia holds the Protestant Radio and Television Center's archive with over 6,000 reels of audio, though none appear to be individually catalogued. The importance of the sit-in movement cannot be overstated. A moving experience of the Atlanta Student Movement, hearing its goals, accomplishments and issues directly from some of its founders. A sample of the audio is available. Please contact us for a link. This item is offered by Langdon Manor Books, LLC, antiquarian booksellers. Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information and/or photos and we will respond promptly. We package our items carefully, ship daily, and have a no hassle returns policy--your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) , the International League of Antiquarian Booksllers (ILAB) and the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) and adhere to their rules of ethics.