thumbnail of Birmingham: Testament of Nonviolence; Part 1; A Happy Day in Birmingham, May 10, 1963 [2 of 2]
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And then our committee will be appointed within two weeks composed of business industrial and professional leaders to get Negroes in new positions that they have never been in before. Throughout the tollroad industrial complex abandon an Alabaman I guess ask some clerks in the store was negro club so when you got on the negro stand my knees come. But we're gonna get that. But even mon we get more than we asked for on this one. No other city in the South wanted to listen to this has gone this far. On the question of employment this is a significant victory for the city of Birmingham Alabama. Now are you going to jail or do you fear that you went to jail in vain if you're going to jail you don't get all need a new job don't you think it was really wonderful to go to jail.
Noun the ferret bomb. We made it clear in negotiating sessions over the last two or three days. That this movement and these demonstrations would not stop that the movement would not bring. A halt to the demonstrations. Unless heart of the people in jail. Could come out. We would never leave anybody. We made it very clear that this had to be done. We talked in terms of the dropping of the charges. And this I am happy to say is being worked on these cases are going to be. Handled. And something good is in the making on this point. The first thing the city of Birmingham doesn't want a burden
of having to trial some 3000 people and the Chinese cases until my little 7 year old daughter is in college. So that things are going to be worked out there but I'm happy to say to you this evening. I'm happy to say to you that everybody is either out of jail on the way out of jail. Haven't been arrested. This has been made possible by several things. They have made a plan what about all of the persons up to 16 get out merely by the signing of something by the LBS and another person and then money was provided. For all of the other persons so that everybody. Is out of jail. They will be out in a few hours. We had some 800 to get out today and it takes a long time to get eight people eight hundred
people out so if you have anybody in jail. Rest assured that they will be out tonight and if they just find it impossible to get all of them tonight they will certainly be out by tomorrow morning. The final point to re-ask was a biracial committed to deal with these other things and I'm happy to say to you that this is in the making. Now already the senior citizens committee have made it clear. That communication with big stablished between Negro and white citizens of this community within the next two weeks and through this channel of communication we will begin to work to get all of these other things moving. Get the parts of them to get public school integration and to get jobs in the city. We want to see some negro policeman. Right here. Now if you can see that as I took time to do this because I think it's
most important. And you have not struggled and you have not suffered in vain. And if I wasn't a little hoarse tonight I could preach about the meaning of what you've done not only that in about a few years they may try to tell you they may try to say that they plan to do all of this anyway. But. That but as of late I got this. From a source that I can't reveal but they were in a meeting downtown. Yesterday of the day. It was a day that we had the big development with thousands of students going downtown in what we now call the sing in movement you know Negroes don't want to sit in a saying and. They were doing you know still and sitting and singing and they are sitting in your skull. I know that they were in a meeting the leaders of this community the
business and industrial leaders talking about this thing. And the men who were talking with the wind the spam. Had about given up they said nothing we could do because our business professor little sac we're tired of it and they. Had a number of do good karma not to tell the government to send the National Guard here and get this thing on a march along. We've we've tried to do what we could do but these these niggas that's not going to stop and we just can't. We're not going to put up with. It. And that's the way to stop them and then they had their lunch hour. And they went out for lunch and when they got out there and saw. All of this. Standing on the side wall saying We Shall Overcome and hang on let nobody turn me round. I heard when they got back in there after the lunch on. They started saying not messy we think we could grant point won.
And they moved on down the plant to an extent that. Now I'm saying this on a humorous thing but I'm very serious. Do not underestimate the power of this movement and these same would not have been granted without your presenting your bodies and your bare liars before the dogs and the tanks and the water hoses of this city. And then another san you know. The United States is concerned about its image. When things started happening down here Mr. kinda got dissed. By mistake. Canada has a sit around tables of the world and sometimes Mr. Crew chef is on the other side. He is battling for the minds and the hearts of men in Asia in Africa. From one billion men in the neutral is sucked out of the world and
they aren't going to respect the United States of America cede to Pryors men and women of the basic rights of life because of the color Baskin Mr. Canada knows this. And Associated Press got a picture. But don't hold. Back I didn't know you were a man and that man didn't have his hands out. He didn't have his hands up and he didn't have a knife in his hand but if you saw that picture it was a. High act standing with his arms down moment by album and a dog biting him and when that picture went oh I'm over off. Set in Africa and even in France Mr. Canada said Babie you better get your system down out and look into this matter. Dangerous situation fi image a problem. And I'm telling you. Nothing has so stirred the conscience of this nation. At this Birmingham movement. That. I can think of nothing. And I say it out of one who has been
in several struggles for freedom over the last few years and I have never seen people as a round over land in development and we've had. And they have been overbearing and where they saw 6 year old children being arrested. But once and they know what they knew what they were being arrested song. They they may not been able to spell a word and pronounce it right but look six year old girl was on the line and they tell me that the policeman stopped and say I love you long and she looked up. The oath. This is a really weird movement. Nothing has sought to rouse the conscience of this nation. But you know I have those. Just yesterday. People the National Council of Negro Women they may still be coming I'm not
sure but they were going to bring hundreds of women here for Mother's Day they wanted to come to make a witness from all over America. A group from New York said they had two planeloads charter planes ready to come. From California Dr. Hudson's community I had a call. From Reverend Maurice Dawkins and Reverend Marvin Robinson Sandra Day were coming down with a plane load from Los Angeles. Then I got a call from Evan Lauer Odum of Denver Santa he was bringing a group down next week. And then I got a call from Howard Belafonte this morning and he said Mom not talk with you just didn't look like someone was coming but I read some things that looked like it wouldn't come and I want you to know we have 3000 people ready to go this morning to Washington to picket around the White House and we don't want to know his name. Oh OK.
This is an amazing thing and it's America all of us feel happy. And then we had our friends you met the Jewish rabbis who came. All we are thankful to God that there are hundreds of white people of good will and thousands and millions will let us. Have our friend Ike to stand here tonight. The American Baptist Convention has come and he made it very clear. That he was ready to participate in the demonstrations of necessary. We're happy to have Dr. Hudson tonight. That great courageous humanitarian who has labored over the years. But all of this. And finally. I'm thankful to God. For the leaders of this community. I'm thankful to God for Fred Shuttlesworth. And the goodness of God is found in the fact that he has placed at his side.
Some of the most dedicated. Courageous and intelligent man that you can find anywhere. God has given him to this city over the last year. Just think about it in 18 months our group of powerful young dedicated ministers of the gospel. Have done a great work here. I don't know where we are now staff have inspired by him in hand but you have certainly inspired us. Now now had me say finally. That we cannot allow the enthusiasm of this movement to pass because we won a victory which is a significant victory. We're saying we've got to
be sure that these things are carried out. Now my friends the Barakat is fear alone we made it clear in the negotiating session. That. We work. Hard to demonstrations but that the boycott would continue. But this is the way we are sure. This is the way we are sure. And that we are sure our sale. That these agreements will be met now we will tell you when to call the boycott off. And I'll tell you off the record that they planned to do these things in less time than they stayed here. They wanted us to give them the maximum number of days they planned to do it in less time because this boycott of midnight. Sun that has to be sure to keep this movement going. Now the thing
is this we are going to work for the next few weeks in voter registration. Now I want to say to you that I don't. Tan. And. My staff people who are so dedicated and you know all of them I we've introduced several times. To leave here on til they can work long enough with you. And the leaders of the voter registration program of this community to double the number of Negro registered voters in Birmingham. Now we can do that. We've demonstrated our power in the area of nonviolent direct action now known as get political power through the gaining of the bout. God bless you and we will see you. Monday night. Yes I was a man. To punish
men. This is our leader spoke on the house tonight. Now let me say this to you my friends. On my monitoring. We want all of the students together at 16st to get involved in a voter registration drive. We want them to go door to door campaign knocking on doors and making out surveys getting the names and addresses of the people who are not registered voters and you'll blow up. We have unbearable. We'll be able to tell you more about that. Now whatever you do on Monday. On Monday. You ought to send your children to school. Just that nothing has ever happened.
Now nobody has been suspended. And murdered just don't assume that they're going to be suspended. But let us send them home to school just lacking nothing ass cap on. And then if they are suspended. We'd told let it go she committed that we would have to let them know that those students was going were going to get it. Other students in school. And the first day bought the macho around that school. And then the second day it bad and invited them back in. They've gone head on over to the white school. Now keep that in mind Monday. See to it your hair for a
child is in Stude just like non-Apple. And if they don't send one to you about it tell them so you just keep your mouth don't send under them about. What if they call you. And go and hand it to Superintendent call you in and tell them that I turned in your school system. That our nation was created under the dot. And dedicated to the principle that all old men of created equal that your teachers taught us. That a whole set of sons had the same rights and that they were guaranteed them by the Constitution. And we believe because white folk told us so. And look on their owner now. And you tell them back. Now. They're sending for us already. They're sending for
Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy already. Albany Georgia wants to come on. Rand a Wall Street Journal tonight where Reverend Dr. Anderson told him so if you win a victory in Birmingham. So I've already told the chief of police well clean up the jails and going our way. Nashville Tennessee. Well just right now. You saw on television tonight I know. Nashville Knoxville Tennessee wants us and Mo B-list trying to get around us because they don't want to hear it in a point. Rachel come in. Jackson Mississippi call us and loaded us. But I'm here to tell you we can go in and where on telly every one of these promises has carried out radio envy.
Much money as soon as these promises have been carried out. We got to move on. Now my friends. I want to boost a man who is going to bring you the pep talk tonight. He is a man who needs no introduction. I've known him a long time. Fact is one of our great churches here. He's going to give us a message. Own up back. What do you look at a famous bowl game 5 0 0 0. Nelson Smith. A crucial game. In the desegregation has been bullied in Birmingham Alabama.
Martin Luther King Jr. has General Manager freedom's team. Shows where it has been pitching. Ralph Abernathy had been behind the plate. Why manager. Andrew Young at court. James asked. Chas. Abraham would then send a fee. Then Wright became playing first base and John Porter was paint third and playing second and yours truly was at shortstop.
Yeah the. And the Negro community of Birmingham was rated AAA when cold to take the fee. God is the great commission of the Freedom movie. The. United States Supreme Court justice is the game. Governor Wallace hasn't had a hit almost seems. The. YAML. The mayor the mayor was Haines. Has a child a home. Commission away. I have been big. And bored Carnahan's of Sunni and alien head on a
twisted ha. I am a happy day in Birmingham is drawing to a close and once more as at every meeting those assembled tonight in the St. John's Church rise join hands and sing We shall overcome someday. Then a final prayer game. Feel. This moment some. Heads and. The teacher says we have to come within us.
Holy Spirit will deal with you. Each of you meditate upon what peace offensive meant for you. Good that a soul bit. To know that you are working towards that what you want most of all. Think of this. For a. Little of us pray together. Realize what could change God is good to. Not only do we were gross but to white persons. Then let us pray to the God of the soul. Oh a good and loving father.
You called us. Telling us to go out into all the world. And to preach stye Gospel not only with us but by the way we live. And there have been times when we have talked this without doing that. There have been times we've told each other that it should be done but we did not do it. We are asking the Lord to forgive us for all those times what we find you. When we were to blame for not doing what you had told us to do. Give each one of us here a lot. Lord we ask you to bless us. And we thank you lord for protecting us when we did what you told us to do. For being with us and walking by our sides when dogs were loosed upon
us. By placing a fire in us it was greater than the water hoses outside of us. By giving us the strength the Lord took the days. Of jail and days of degradation. To. What it was that was placed against us in terms of nervousness and fear. Thank God for being with us when we thought we'd be by ourselves. And now look we are the type of presence will be strong in this place. To descend upon all of us here. At our Holy Spirit to work in our midst. And that love don't let us go from this place without your spirit going with us. Be with us tonight as we go into the streets. Be with us tonight as we speak to our parents. Be with us as we speak to our neighbors
about the need to register to vote. Help us to let them know that you want to stay. Together we can build a kingdom that only you could see that you sent your prophets to show to us. As we go from this place helps us. To lose our fear not to work out of the context of fear but the new courage to do it given us realizing the weakness of love. Is more powerful than the police dogs the weakness of the powerful than the push to summon the police force. Letting no sensation. Can Come now. We are asked to be dismissed from this place but not from my presence. We ask that as we go that your son will come behind us that we will not go back to segregation and predation. But he will be behind
us if we will take no steps backward. That he will be behind us and we will not be turned around and he will be below us but we will not fold to the passions of hate. But he will be below us that we will not fold to the passion within us to to fight. And he will be below us that we will not go to Loas. We ask that your son Christ will be ahead of us as we move on to Birmingham of all of its hindrances as we move on to clear this nation of its problem. We ask the Dyson will be above us as we walk up the top three as we create here in the kingdom of God that it might be like that that is in heaven. And his name we pray. The the and the
the the. The eat the happy day and Barney cam May 10th 1963. This mass meeting celebrating the negotiated settlement of the thirty eight day nonviolent direct action integration campaign in Birmingham Alabama was covered in recorded exclusively by Riverside radio w r v r the FM station of the Riverside Church in the city of New York. Speaking to the more than 2000 Birmingham negroes overflowing the St. John Church where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference his principal aide the Reverend Rafi Abernathy and other leaders of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. This program was produced by Riverside radio WRVA R. for the educational radio network and the National Association of educational broadcasters. Reporting from Birmingham Jack Somerfield and Walter Nixon.
This is the NASB Radio Network.
Birmingham: Testament of Nonviolence
Episode Number
Part 1
A Happy Day in Birmingham, May 10, 1963 [2 of 2]
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
A documentary recorded on Friday, May 10, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama, where an agreement between leaders of the civil rights movement and city officials had recently been negotiated to end racial segregation in lunch counters, fitting rooms, restrooms, and water fountains; to end employment discrimination in industry; to release jailed demonstrators; and to establish a biracial committee to integrate schools, the police force, and parks, in addition to dealing with other issues. The agreement was reached after images of police attacking protesting children with dogs and fire hoses shocked the nation and world, and more than 1,000 students were jailed. The documentary includes commentary from various unnamed persons in Birmingham, in addition to speeches by Dr. Ralph D. Abernathy and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King optimistically views the agreement as a path "to the creation of a new kind of community." He notes that the worldwide circulation of pictures of police using dogs and fire hoses to attack protesting children disturbed President Kennedy, who was trying to win the hearts and minds of neutral nations in Asia and Africa during the Cold War conflict with the Soviet Union. The program was produced by Riverside Radio, WRVR, the FM station of the Riverside Church, New York City, for the Educational Radio Network, and the National Association of Educational Broadcasters. It was distributed by the National Association of Radio Broadcasters Network. For information on the Birmingham movement, see Glenn T. Eskew, But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997).
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Created Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
African Americans--Civil rights--History
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: Nixon, Walter
: Summerfield, Jack
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Speaker: King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Speaker: Abernathy, Ralph David, 1926-1990
Speaker: Smith,
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: cpb-aacip-90a9e074e22 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:31
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Chicago: “Birmingham: Testament of Nonviolence; Part 1; A Happy Day in Birmingham, May 10, 1963 [2 of 2],” 1963-05-31, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2023,
MLA: “Birmingham: Testament of Nonviolence; Part 1; A Happy Day in Birmingham, May 10, 1963 [2 of 2].” 1963-05-31. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2023. <>.
APA: Birmingham: Testament of Nonviolence; Part 1; A Happy Day in Birmingham, May 10, 1963 [2 of 2]. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from