All historical research and text were done by Dr. Racquel L. Henry, except where indicated.
Web design by Dr. Racquel L. Henry, Robert Thomas and Virginia Stewart.
Logo designed by Dominic Dorsey.
Special thanks to all the Albany State students from the class of 1961 and the student participants in the Albany Civil Rights Movement for their accounts of the history.
We are restless; we want our due, and nothing more. We are tired of your group riding through our campus grounds, inflicting mental and physical hardships on our students with nothing being done. We do not accept your air waves blasting racial biases when we patronize the various advertised agencies. We are tired of being penned down to the various segregated barriers that exist in this town, and we intend to be heard from, in some form or fashion…We want equality. We will have it. We leave you with this question: If you realize the value of democracy and understand the meaning of the United States Constitution, why can‘t you see the Negro is within his rights to demand racial equality and opportunity?
Leonard Carson, Chairman Committee on Civil Affairs Albany, Ga
In 1961, students involved in Student Government at Albany State College wrote these words and created the fictitious name and group. Their words are evidence that these young people were greatly influenced by the winds of change sweeping the South in the 1950s and early 1960s. Events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, Emmett Till’s murder, Brown vs. the Board of Education, and the Southern Student Sit-In Movement were what gave them the courage to voice their anger at the local radio station, WALB, because of its daily racist diatribes about the decision of Federal Court Judge Bootle. This decision forced the University of Georgia to end 160 years of segregation by admitting Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes. In their angry statements “we are restless, we want our due” they laid down the gauntlet to the city of Albany - they drew their line in the sand. These students decided to straighten their backs and bare the brunt of Jim Crow's whip, especially, if it meant putting an end to segregation. Albany State's students were ending the stereotypical roles of African Americans and rejecting the idea that the slow wheels of racial improvement through industrial education would someday allow them their rights accorded under the constitution. These students, like many other young people of the times, disheartened by segregation, created a new methodology in dealing with racial relations and inequality in Albany. Their determination and courage, paired with the support of Albany’s African American community, created a force, a movement for change, that would not slow until well after Martin Luther King’s death; school desegregation in the city of Albany; and many other awesome events in the twenty-first century. These events, such as the election of Albany's first African American mayor, prove that Albany State College's Student Activists and the African American community were successful in changing the city.
It is the mission of this year-long celebration to commemorate, recognize, and preserve the history of the university's civil rights activists. With this web page, Albany State desires that future generations of leaders have access to our heroic student narratives and artifacts to use as a foundation so that when injustices rise anywhere in our society they will know how to stand and serve as these soldiers of freedom did fifty years ago!