Request Material

South Georgia Civil Rights Oral History Collection

South Georgia Civil Rights Oral History Collection

Descriptive Summary

Title: South Georgia Civil Rights Oral History Collection
Creator: Wall, James
Inclusive Dates: 2017
Language(s): English
Extent: 4 interview(s)
Collection Number: RBRL424SGCR
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Collection Description

Historical note

James Wall, a doctoral candidate in the UGA History Department, conducted interviews with civil rights activists who were involved in the Albany Movement for civil rights in Southwest Georgia.

Scope and Content

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." -- Civil Rights Digital Library

Administrative Information

Preferred citation

South Georgia Civil Rights Oral History Collection, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Processing Information

Original media for this collection included digital audio files.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared on: 2018.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

African Americans -- Civil rights -- Georgia
Civil rights movements -- Georgia.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


SGCR-001 Shirley Sherrod

1 sound_recording(s) 86 minutes
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 him. In her interview, she discusses her experiences in segregated schools, discrimination, and the Baker County Movement. Sherrod also explains the planning, development, and complications of New Communities, Inc. leading up to the Pigford v. Glickman lawsuit.
SGCR-001 Shirley Sherrod audio and interview index in OHMS Access Online

SGCR-002 Yaz Johnson

1 sound_recording(s) 79 minutes
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 father in the Albany Movement, focusing on the worker strike he led in 1972. He also shares details of the lawsuit that the strike led to and complications he experienced personally in pursuit of a Johnnie Johnson Jr. Memorial Building.
SGCR-002 Yaz Johnson audio and interview index in OHMS Access Online

SGCR-003 Cornelius Wadsworth Grant

1 sound_recording(s) 84 minutes
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 he faced in Jacksonville before moving to Albany, his experiences near the end of the Albany Movement, and run-ins with influential members of the community.
SGCR-003 Cornelius Wadsworth Grand audio and interview index in OHMS Access Online

SGCR-004 Tommy Coleman

1 sound_recording(s) 73 minutes
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 present between the black and white community. He explains the role of some influential people in Albany and the effect of the Flint River flood.
SGCR-004 Tommy Coleman audio on Kaltura Access Online
SGCR-004 Tommy Coleman audio and interview index in OHMS Access Online