Athens, Ga. – The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries will host Ambassador Andrew Young as he presents the premiere of his new feature-length civil rights documentary, How We Got Over, at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 30.
The event, in Room 102 of the Miller Learning Center, is free and open to the general public, as well as UGA students, faculty and staff.
How We Got Over uses unique archival footage from the WSB and WALB Newsfilm Collections to re-frame the story of the civil rights struggle. The immediacy of this footage, mostly unseen since the time of its original broadcast in the 1950s and ‘60s, brings our nation’s struggle for racial equality to life.
An abridged version of the documentary was broadcast nationally as an episode of the series Andrew Young Presents. The feature-length version, to be seen here for the first time, includes never-before shown material, including a 2009 interview with Charlayne Hunter-Gault, one of the first African Americans to attend the University of Georgia and an alumna of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Young will introduce the film and answer questions after the screening.
Young, former congressman, United Nations Ambassador and mayor of Atlanta, was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. According to Robert A. Pratt, professor and head of the UGA department of history, “as one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s closest advisors and confidants during the 1960s, Young brings a unique perspective to the tragedies and triumphs that reflected at once the worst and the best of American society as it struggled to make good on the promises of freedom and equality for all. Those of this current generation who believe that the election of President Barack Obama has ushered in a new ‘post racial’ order will most surely have their eyes opened as they reflect upon the sacrifices made to get us to this point.”
How We Got Over draws on raw news footage from WSB-TV in Atlanta and WALB-TV in Albany. Held by the UGA Libraries’ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, the moving images-about 450 clips-cover a broad range of key civil rights events. The clips also provide the foundation for UGA’s Civil Rights Digital Library.
“The video archive covers both national figures and local leaders,” according to Ruta Abolins, director of the Brown archives. “There is more than two hours of film related to Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s role in the Albany movement is documented extensively, including clips of speeches at mass meetings, his arrest by local police, press conferences, and his visit to a pool hall to urge local African Americans to adopt non-violence in achieving change in Albany.”