Today is T-minus 2. Two days before our departure on our Civil Rights Roadtrip. Most of the day was devoted to trip preparations. In the evening we watched a couple more hours of the Eyes on the Prize videos. Prior to tonight I had not heard of “The Albany Movement.” As of right now, I admit to some confusion about what, exactly, happened in Albany, GA in 1961-62. It sounds to me as if the local black community, working with SNCC, engaged in a variety of desegregation protests, and they received some help but also some distraction from the SCLC and Dr. Martin Luther King. What seems clear to me is that Albany’s chief of police, Laurie Pritchett, was able to confound the efforts of MLK and others, by having studied their strategies of non-violence and, in effect, subverting them. He anticipated his opponents’ efforts to fill and overfill his jail, and he made arrangements in advance to place hundreds in rural jails throughout the region. He realized the bad press that would come to him as a result of keeping MLK in his jail, and he arranged for MLK’s bail to be paid so that he could be released. Beyond these things, I am, as I say, a little confused about the Albany Movement.
Remarkably, the one Civil Rights Veteran, so far, who has agreed to allow me to interview her while I am in Atlanta, is from Albany and was a part of the Albany Movement. I look forward to being able to learn from her, firsthand, what I am currently confused about.
Often the path from ignorance to knowledge includes an initial state of confusion. This is not a negative thing, as long as it is temporary. I look forward to having my confusion removed in connection to the Albany Movement.