South Georgia Civil Rights Oral History Collections

Dublin Core


Civil rights
African Americans--History
Georgia--History, Local
United States--Civil rights
Politics and Public Policy


Oral histories with members of the Albany Movement’s civil rights campaign in southwest Georgia document that time period as well as the local politics and initiatives in its aftermath. “In November 1961, residents of Albany, Georgia, launched an ambitious campaign to eliminate segregation in all facets of local life. The movement captured national attention one month later when local leaders invited Martin Luther King, Jr. to join the protest. Despite King's involvement, the movement failed to secure concessions from local officials and was consequently deemed unsuccessful by many observers. Subsequent appraisals, however, have identified the movement as a formative learning experience for King and other civil rights organizers, and credited it with hastening the ultimate desegregation of Albany's facilities, which occurred only one year following the movement's conclusion in August 1962.”

All interviews in this collection have been indexed in OHMS.


James Wall


Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies






Albany, Georgia

Interviews in this Collection (4):


Shirley Sherrod was born and raised in Baker County, Georgia. She was formerly the Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture. Sherrod married Charles Sherrod and built New Communities, Inc. alongside…


Yaz Johnson was born in 1967 in Albany, Georgia to Johnnie Johnson Jr. and Thelma Johnson. He resided in Albany his entire life, working as a full-time pastor, businessman, and non-profit director. In this interview. Johnson discusses the role of his…


Cornelius Wadsworth Grant was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1932. He attended FAMU College of Law after serving three years in the U.S. Army. Grant went on to teach at FAMU and Albany State. In this interview, he discusses the racial limitations…


Tommy Coleman was born in 1948 in Albany, Georgia. He served as the Mayor of Albany for ten years and continues to practice law in South Georgia. In this interview, Coleman discusses his role in Albany politics and the various tensions that were…

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