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Address Delivered at Albany Movement Mass Meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church

King, Martin Luther, Jr.
August 15, 1962
Albany, Ga.
Albany Movement
Brown v. Board of Education


Less than an hour after negotiations between the Albany Movement and the Albany City Commission collapsed, King vows before a large audience at Shiloh Baptist Church to renew demonstrations in Albany. King says: “The City Commission of Albany has again revealed to you, to the state of Georgia, to the United States, and to the world that it holds the Negro citizens of this community in utter contempt.” He criticizes the commission for living in “1962 industrially” but in “1862 in human relations,” insisting that if Albany is to grow as a community, it “cannot keep a man down in the valley without staying down there with him.” Reminding the audience of the virtues of their grievances, King declares that “what we are doing is vindicated by history” and calls on white men and women to break their silence, for “we will have to repent in this generation not merely from the loud and bitter words of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” In conclusion, King beseeches the audience to remain nonviolent and committed to the goal of creating a “moral balance” between whites and African Americans: “Our aim is not merely to get rid of a system called segregation, but our aim is to do something to people who have lived in the midst of segregation. Our aim is to make new creatures: better white men and better Negro men, better white women and better Negro women.” The following address was taken from an audio recording.


GDL, G-Ar, Georgia Department of Law, Record group 9, Georgia Department of Archives and History, Morrow, Ga., Subgroup 1, Attorney General's Office, series 30