SOUTHERN REGIONAL COUNCIL
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" program files
and sound recordings,
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" program files and sound recordings, 1956-1998 (bulk 1983-1998)
Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library
Atlanta, GA 30322
Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zwt6
Table of Contents
|Creator:||Southern Regional Council|
|Title:||"Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" program files and sound recordings, 1956-1998 (bulk 1983-1998)|
|Call Number:||Manuscript Collection No. 934|
|Extent:||21 linear ft. (55 boxes)|
|Abstract:||Program files and sound recordings from the award winning radio documentary, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: An Audio History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern Communities and the Music of Those Times," produced by the Southern Regional Council (SRC). The collections consists of interview transcripts, audiovisual materials, scripts, program research files, and production files.|
|Language:||Materials entirely in English.|
Restrictions on Access
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction. Special restrictions also apply: The collection contains some copies of original materials held by other institutions; these copies may not be reproduced without the permission of the owner of the originals. Use copies have not been made for the audiovisual materials at this time. Researchers must contact MARBL in advance for access to these materials.
Related Materials in This Repository
Dan T. Carter papers, Calvin Fred Craig papers, Constance Curry papers, Doris Derby papers, Leslie Dunbar papers, Vincent Harding papers, James A. MacKay papers, Ralph McGill papers, Eliza K. Paschall papers, Frances F. Pauley papers, Nan Pendergast papers, Margie Pitts Hames papers, Claude Sitton papers, and Elbert P. Tuttle papers.
[after identification of item(s)], Southern Regional Council, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" program files, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.
Processed by Randy Gue, February 1, 2005.
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: An Audio History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern Communities and the Music of Those Times" is an award-winning radio documentary. Produced by the Southern Regional Council (SRC), it chronicles the struggle to end segregation in Atlanta, Georgia, Columbia, South Carolina, Jackson, Mississippi, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Montgomery, Alabama. While other documentaries about the civil rights movement concentrate on national leaders and national organizations, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" focuses on "the essential local character of the places and people who collectively became the Movement." In order to capture the undocumented side of the movement, the producers conducted over a hundred original interviews with civil rights activists and combed through archives across the country for oral histories and other materials. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" aired on Public Radio International (PRI) affiliates across the country in 1997, and it won a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award the same year.
The series consists of 26 episodes. Affiliates could choose to broadcast "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" as either 13 fifty-nine minute programs or 26 twenty-nine minute programs. The series kicked off with a "Prologue," which chronicled race relations and social conditions in the South before World War II. After this introduction, the series started telling the story of civil rights movement in each city, beginning in Columbia and ending in Atlanta, Georgia. The structure of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" served two purposes. First, it recounted the history of the movement in each individual city. This approach represented an important step because, as historian Robert J. Norrell wrote, "The civil rights movement had a different experience in each place." Second, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" used the struggle in each city as a way to highlight specific directions the civil rights movement took as well as specific strategies activists employed to bring about change. The Columbia shows, for example, outlined the use of "litigation as a route to social change" by tracing how a lawsuit from Clarendon County became part of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. The Little Rock episodes then explored the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling because the Arkansas city's public schools became a battleground over the implementation of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The structure of the series produced an innovative and powerful history of the movement.
The programs in the series are:
Program 1: Prologue
Program 2: Columbia, South Carolina: "Our Place, Their Place."
Program 3: Columbia, South Carolina: "Under Color of Law."
Program 4: Columbia, South Carolina: "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Segregation's Got to Go."
Program 5: Columbia, South Carolina: "Orangeburg."
Program 6: Montgomery, Alabama: "The Cradle of the Confederacy."
Program 7: Montgomery, Alabama: "Walk and Pray."
Program 8: Montgomery, Alabama: "The Bus Boycott."
Program 9: Montgomery, Alabama: "My Feet Is Tired."
Program 10: Montgomery, Alabama: "Rocking the Cradle."
Program 11: Little Rock, Arkansas: "The Jim Crow Years."
Program 12: Little Rock, Arkansas: "Nine for Justice."
Program 13: Little Rock, Arkansas: "Soldiers in School."
Program 14: Little Rock, Arkansas: "The Lost Year."
Program 15: Little Rock, Arkansas: "The 1960s."
Program 16: Jackson, Mississippi: "American Apartheid."
Program 17: Jackson, Mississippi: "The Birth of the Jackson Movement."
Program 18: Jackson, Mississippi: "The Demonstrations."
Program 19: Jackson, Mississippi: "Freedom Summer."
Program 20: Jackson, Mississippi: "Power and Resistance."
Program 21: Atlanta, Georgia: "Prelude to a Movement."
Program 22: Atlanta, Georgia: "The Atlanta Student Movement."
Program 23: Atlanta, Georgia: "Crow and Molasses."
Program 24: Atlanta, Georgia: "The City Too Busy to Hate."
Program 25: Atlanta, Georgia: "The Rise of Black Political Power."
Program 26: Epilogue
Scope and Content Note
The "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" program files consist of interview transcripts, audiovisual materials, scripts, program research files, and production files. The largest part of the collection is made up of materials related to the interviews that give "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" its unique perspective. Series 1 and Series 2 contain transcripts and tapes of interviews conducted by the SRC as well as transcripts and tapes from other archival repositories. Besides the interviews, the audiovisual materials also include rough mixes of the individual episodes of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" Series 3 contains materials the documentary's staff used to develop scripts for the twenty-six episodes, including notes, outlines, drafts, and "outtakes," and final versions of the scripts.
The program research files consist of inventories of archival collections, correspondence with archival repositories as well as historical materials, including biographical sketches, chronologies, notes, newspaper clippings, articles, excerpts from books, and guides for each city. The production files relate to the production and administration of documentary. Of particular interest in this series are the comments from listeners about the documentary as well as the station carriage lists, which list the radio stations that carried "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" in the United States.
Organized into five series: (1) Interview transcripts, (2) Audiovisual materials, (3) Scripts, (4) Program research files, and (5) Production files.
- African Americans--Civil rights.
- African Americans--Political activity.
- Civil rights demonstrations--Southern States.
- Civil rights movements--Southern States.
- Civil rights--Alabama--Montgomery.
- Civil rights--Arkansas--Little Rock.
- Civil rights--Georgia--Atlanta.
- Civil rights--Mississippi--Jackson.
- Civil rights--South Carolina--Columbia.
- Documentary radio programs.
- Segregation in education--Southern States.
- Series 1: Interview transcripts, 1956-1997
- Series 2: Audiovisual materials, 1957-1998
- Subseries 2.1: Atlanta, Georgia, 1967-1996
- Subseries 2.2: Columbia, South Carolina, 1966-1996
- Subseries 2.3: Jackson, Mississippi, 1963-1997
- Subseries 2.4: Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957-1994
- Subseries 2.5: Montgomery, Alabama, 1962-1997
- Subseries 2.6: Miscellaneous archival materials, 1957-1997
- Subseries 2.7: Production materials, 1993-1998
- Subseries 2.8: Videotapes and computer disks, 1993-1997
- Subseries 2.9: ¼" Audio Tapes, 1957-1983
- Series 3: Scripts
- Series 4: Program research files
- Series 5: Production files