Viewpoint: The Albany Movement 50th

The Albany Movement 50th Anniversary This is a week to celebrate one of the most important eras in Albany's history.

On November 17, 1961, a group of local black leaders met at the home of an Albany dentist and organized the Albany Movement. Over the next ten months, hundreds of brave south Georgians risked their safety, their jobs, and their freedom to march and picket and boycott for equal rights.

The movement made national headlines because Dr. Martin Luther King came and was jailed here. He left in the summer of 1962 without achieving many tangible victories, but the movement was far from a failure.

Dr. King learned lessons that helped him succeed in his future efforts. The Freedom Singers took the music of the Albany Movement around the country, inspiring activists in every corner of America. Black south Georgians began registering to vote in huge numbers. And within a year, the city of Albany repealed all segregation ordinances on the books.

We could still do much to improve race relations in south Georgia, but we should all be grateful for the strength and sacrifice of the activists from the Albany movement.

We're lucky to have the Albany Civil Rights Institute to tell their stories. And we'll share some of those stories this Thursday night with a special broadcast, "The Albany Movement, 50 Years Later."

It's a milestone worth celebrating, and we'll hope you'll celebrate it with us. We think it's important to let you meet some of those people, so we're producing a special half-hour live broadcast from that venue Thursday night at 7:00 on WALB-ABC to show you some of what's there.

We hope you'll be with us.