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tv   Reel America A Time for Freedom - 1957  CSPAN  January 18, 2021 12:52pm-1:25pm EST

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♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ lord jesus is a coming ♪
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♪ jesus is a coming ♪ ♪ right down to the promise land ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ >> i'm interested in my people becoming full citizens. because of my faith in god, i realize that for freedom, you must pay a great price. >> this proud pilgrimage is the greatest demonstration on behalf of civil rights since the writing of the declaration of independence. we feel that this crusade to washington will speak just as
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profound as did the great document by the forefathers of our nation when they expressed to great britain that they were determined to be free and that they wanted their freedom. ♪♪ >> this is the day, this is it. the pilgrims are coming to washington, coming to our capitol from all over for prayer and thanksgiving, coming to stand up for right and freedom. ♪♪ ♪♪ washington is waiting. the pilgrims are coming. today is a new day. we've got unity now.
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the church in labor and the naacp all working together, working together to bury jim crow. today the city of washington takes notice, our leaders a. phillip randolph, roy wilkins, reverend king receive the keys to the city. ♪♪ yes, this day's been a long time coming. preparations have been going on for months all over the south. in all the big cities up north, just about all over the country. you might say this day's been 300 years in coming. ever since the first black woman taught her child. this is our country, too. ever since the first black man said to himself, i'm going to be
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free, never stopped working for freedom, never stopped praying and hoping and fighting. ♪♪ ♪ your lord has set you free, why don't you let your neighbors see ♪ ♪ i'll never forget that day ♪ >> the leaders are spreading the word around explaining about the prayer pilgrimage inviting folks to come to washington. that's rosa parks from montgomery, alabama. and reverend kilgore, director of the prayer pilgrimage. >> negro church leaders recognize that through the years the church has been a citadel of hope. it has given birth to many movements, to schools, to hospitals, and civil rights movements. the young negro church leaders and others today recognize that
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position of leadership in a time like this. >> cleveland robinson, new york labor leader. >> the forces of segregation that would deny negros of their civil rights are also forces that are against labor. in order for labor to make progress and to raise the standards of living for all the workers, labor must fight for equality for all working people. >> harry belafonte. >> all my life i have firmly believed that as an artist and as a human being, i cannot isolate myself from the struggles of my people. that their victories are my victories, and their defeats are my defeats. >> everywhere people are talking about the pilgrimage. a street rally in harlem. a street rally in harlem. ♪ wipem3pf ♪♪ reverend martin luther king of montgomery, alabama,
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co-chairman of the prayer pilgrimage. congressman adam clayton powell of new york. borough president of manhattan. roy wilkins, executive secretary of naacp, co-chairman of the prayer pilgrimage. all riding that freedom train. ♪♪ may 17th, a friday, a workday, took time off to come, left the children with grandma, got up early in the morning. union delegations are coming from detroit, chicago, st. louis, north and south. there are college students, lawyers, teachers, all kinds of
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folks, thousands and thousands. ♪♪ some are losing a day's pay to come. some are risking their jobs. some have been told, better not go if you know what's good for you. but we're here. we're coming. want to be part of this great day. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪
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>> listen to us. this is why we have come here. >> personally, i'm going because i am a negro in the united states, and i feel that it is time for the governing body of this country to make a stand on the issue of equality for the negro in the united states. >> we have petitioned and petitioned and petitioned. >> i feel that this pilgrimage will show kong are are es that we are tired of being second-class citizens. our people have come from all parts of the nation to let congress know that we want legislation passed in this session. >> it means not only the negro people themselves have a problem but the white recognize the fact that there is a problem and that they are doing all they can to help, which i think is wonderful. >> organized labor is important because what it will do to help expand the free trade union
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movement in this country. civil rights is therefore important not only to minorities in the labor movement but for all in the labor movement. for the labor movement is basically dedicated to advancing democratic rights for all citizens. >> that was ted brown. >> will now begin working in youngstown, local 1011. there were jobs denied the rights of negros to work on. we organized a civil rights committee. and through their way, we convinced the white brothers that negros were qualified to work on these jobs. and today negros are working side by side with their white brothers. >> this is very, very inspiring, knowing that you are a part of
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it and knowing that you are doing it not only for yourself but for all around you and for your children and those who are coming after you. i think it's one of the most important steps in history. >> the walls came tumbling down. so we're going to pray today and racial segregation is going to tumble down all over. president, brotherhood. >> we have come to realize the third anniversary of a historic united states supreme court position for the desegregation of public schools, emancipation proclamation of the mind and the human spirit. we have come to demonstrate the unity of the negro and their
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allies, liberals and the church. we are here to tell those who worship the false gods of white supremacy to keep their evil hands off the national association for the advancement of colored people. >> reverend weston, unitarian church. >> grant us the courage to enter into the arena of life and there battle intently against all of the forces of injustice, exploitation, bigotry, and discrimination. that we salute it and go our way unchanged. for if we do not make it a part of us, if we do not root it in our hearts and in our minds, that faith will die and our nation shall die with it. >> but we need not fear. today our heroic children are upholding the honor of the
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nation. ♪♪ james and theresa gordon of clay, kentucky, and the many others elsewhere. ♪♪ joe anne allen of clinton, tennessee, elizabeth, one of the nine of little rock, arkansas, and so many more in henderson, kentucky, nashville, tennessee, mansfield, texas.
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children setting an example of courage and dignity for all of us. co-chairman roy wilkins. >> we are here because the rulers of the darkness of this world, the darkness of ignorance, arrogance, prejudice, and hatred have permitted to rise up and ravage the peace of our nation, to include them and claim the wicked and to be proud
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of the righteous. friends, we have gathered here today because certain principalities of government in our own land, certain powers in the ascendancy in many communities have not only turn their faces from us but have attacked us with the weapons of wickedness. with slander, with economic oppression, with tailor mrks made laws, with guns, and with violence. we have been given not bread but a stone. not peace but a sword. virginia and texas and many states in between have set up
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laws against the naacp to put it out of business. they would prevent us from going to court, and they would prevent colored people from lobbying against laws in the state legislature. my friends, these laws deny basic freedoms and deserve the attention of every american, for they will be used against whites as well as against us. yes, my friends, we are in warfare for our rights from local courthouses to the halls of congress. we could have used some help in our fight. we can still use it. but we're holding up ourselves both because of our own spirits and because we know we're in tune with millions of our white fellow citizens in and out of the south. ♪♪ we are troubled on every side,
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yet not distressed. we are perplexed but not in despair. persecuted but not forsaken. cast down but not destroyed. >> they threw rocks and shot threw, but we have had no violence. we only pray that god would take care of our enemies and make us strong. and i am out here today to take a stand for rights of the people of tallahassee, florida. >> all the people will stand. >> reverend kilgore, friendship baptist church. >> and we will follow as the litany is printed on the program. it is a good thing to gather in
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this hallowed place, to give thanks unto the lord. lift up your hearts, let all people everywhere and so turn the hearts of men toward each other that inequalities and injustices may disappear and the spirit of brotherhood may dwell among us. bless the pilgrims who have come from far and near. let each be fired inwardly to work and sacrifice for peace and freedom. >> mahalia jackson. ♪♪ ♪ i've been strong ♪c1z
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♪ i've been abused ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ i've been talked about ♪ >> we are perplexed but not in despair. we are marching, and nothing will stop us.
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reverend milton perry walked from jersey city to washington. [ applause ] walked 230 miles. a bible in his hand and his feet on the road to freedom. >> may i say this? that i walked because the people of montgomery led by reverend martin luther king, walked to maintain their human dignity and their rights. let us all walk together for freedom, for liberty, and equality! >> he walked like the people of montgomery, alabama. the whole world listening to their footsteps. ♪♪ it all started when mrs. rosa parks wouldn't give up her seat on the bus to a white man. >> as far as i can remember,
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during my lifetime, i resisted the idea of being mistreated and pushed around because of my race. and i felt that all people should be free regardless of their color. and when the driver demanded that we give up this seat, i felt that the time had come to not take it anymore. i had had enough, and this was truly the end of being pushed around. ♪♪ >> they walked and cried, wouldn't ride in shame, walked on weary feet, walked on weary feet till their cause was won in the highest court of the land. ♪♪ answering bombs and fire with love. answering violence withstanding
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together. >> there are three ways to deal with injustice. one is to accept it slavishly or one can resist it with arms or one can use nonviolence. the significance of nonviolence is that finally one depends upon his body and his spirit, he puts that into breach when everything else fails. secondly, because the man who believes in nonviolence is prepared to be harmed, to be crushed, but he will never crush others. this is what the southern leaders conference mean when they say, in our struggle, not one hair of one head of one white person is to be harmed. >> we will now have reports from our fighters for freedom in the
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south. >> over and over the lesson of montgomery has been repeated. reverend shuttlesworth of birmingham, alabama. >> i have been bombed, but i'm not dead. we are simply determined to carry on this fight until victory is won. ♪♪ >> reverend boardis of atlanta, georgia. reverend davis of new orleans, louisiana. reverend steel of tallahassee, florida. we are studying that lesson, marching on down that road to freedom. dr. mordekai johnson. >> this gathering is but a suggestion of the power of cooperation that lies within us. we must never forget this day.
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it must be to us a symbol of what greater things yet lie before us. >> adam clayton powell, congressman from new york. >> we are faced with a bipartisan jim crow policy, and we're not going to have a successful bipartisan foreign policy until we wipe out our bipartisan jim crow policy. [ applause ] >> congressman from michigan. >> the basic lesson to be learned today is as ancient as time itself. it is that there is power in unity if there are no restrictions on your political participation back home and you are not exercising your boarding privilege, then you do not deserve the benefits of first-class citizenship. ♪♪
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>> co-chairman reverend martin luther king. >> three years ago the supreme court of this nation rendered in simple, eloquent, and unequivocal language a decision which will long be stencilled on the mental seats of succeeding generations. for men of good will, this may 17th decision came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of human captivity.
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it came as a beacon light of hope. to millions of disinherited people. throughout the world who had dared only to dream of freedom. unfortunately, this noble land sublime decision has not gone without opposition. this opposition has often risen to ominous proportion. so our most urgent request to the president of the united states and every member of congress is to give us the right
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to vote. give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights. give us the ballot, and we will no longer plead to the federal government for passage of an anti-lynching law. we will, by the power of our vote, write the law on the statute books of the south and bring an end to the dastardly end of the hoodedness. and blood thirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens. give us the ballot, and we will quietly and nonviolently implement the supreme court decision of may 17th, 1954.
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♪♪ >> give us the ballot. give us the ballot. we have come together, walking, singing, praying. we have come to claim our rights as citizens of this land. we have come to bear witness that all men are brothers. we have come to arouse the conscience of decent men. listen to us. ♪♪ we are headed for freedom.
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let us live together in brotherhood. ♪♪ let us live together in friendship. let us live together in peace. let us walk together with love. ♪♪ ♪♪
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>> weeknights this month we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span3. tonight, we begin a night of presidential farewells with dwight eisenhower's remarks from january 1961. his speech is best known for its warning about the increasing power of the military industrial complex. we'll also hear from presidents jimmy carter, richard nixon, and bill clinton. watch tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern, and enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. on january 6th, rioters breached security and caused extensive damage to the u.s. capitol for the first time since british troops burned the building in 1814. coming up tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, revisit c-span's
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original production of "the capitol," taking you inside and through the time for the story of the art and history and architecture to this iconic home to congress since 1800. toud■7 private rooms off limits to the public. watch c-span's "the capitol" tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. ♪♪ wednesday joe biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the united states in our nation's capitol. and in light of the attack on the capitol and the temporary closing of the national mall, the traditional inauguration ceremony has been modified. follow our live coverage as the day unfolds starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern. watch the arrivals at the capitol, the swearing-in of joe biden and kamala harris, and the inaugural address. the inauguration of joe biden beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern wednesday. live coverage on c-span and
1:24 pm or listen live on the c-span radio app. you're watching american history tv, every weekend on c-span3 explore our nation's past, american history tv on c-span3 created by america's cable television companies. and today we're brought to you by these television companies who provide american history tv to viewers as a public service. next on history bookshelf, cornell west talks about the book "black prophetic fire" in which he profiles african-american leaders frederick douglass, w.e.b. jr. [ applause ] >>


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