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Oral history interview with Laurie Pritchett, April 23, 1976 : interview B-0027, Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).

Author: Laurie Pritchett; James Reston, Jr.; Southern Oral History Program.; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library.
Publisher: [Chapel Hill, N.C.] : University Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2007.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Audio book, etc. : Biography : State or province government publication   Sound Recording : English : Electronic ed
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Laurie Pritchett describes his involvement with the Albany, Georgia, civil rights movement. In this interview, Pritchett attempts to alter his public image as a racist police chief, expressing his profound compassion for blacks. He explains his complicated friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr., and discusses his efforts to place blacks on the police force in Albany in the mid-1960s. After he left the Albany force,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Oral histories
Interviews
Named Person: Laurie Pritchett
Material Type: Biography, Document, Government publication, Audio book, etc., State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File, Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: Laurie Pritchett; James Reston, Jr.; Southern Oral History Program.; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library.
OCLC Number: 232607339
Notes: Title from menu page (viewed on June 24, 2008).
Interview participants: Laurie Pritchett, interviewee; James Reston, Jr., interviewer.
Duration: 01:00:35.
This electronic edition is part of the UNC-CH digital library, Documenting the American South. It is a part of the collection Oral histories of the American South.
Text encoded by Mike Millner. Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers.
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.; System requirements: Web browser with Javascript enabled and multimedia player.
Other Titles: Oral histories of the American South.
Interview B-0027, Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Interview with Laurie Pritchett, April 23, 1976

Abstract:

Laurie Pritchett describes his involvement with the Albany, Georgia, civil rights movement. In this interview, Pritchett attempts to alter his public image as a racist police chief, expressing his profound compassion for blacks. He explains his complicated friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr., and discusses his efforts to place blacks on the police force in Albany in the mid-1960s. After he left the Albany force, Pritchett helped African American causes as High Point, North Carolina, police chief. Much of the interview, however, explores Pritchett's use of King's non-violence strategy. His innovative application of passive law enforcement allowed Albany to stand as a site where the national civil rights movement failed. In December 1961, Pritchett trained his police officers to resist civil rights demonstrators non-violently. This training often frustrated King's passive resistance tactics in Albany by preventing the negative publicity brought about by brutal police reaction to marches in other towns in the Deep South. Refusing to use the violent tactics of Alabama law enforcement officials such as Jim Clark (Selma) and T. Eugene "Bull" Connor (Birmingham), Pritchett discusses how his peaceful strategy effectively eliminated bargaining abilities for King and other civil rights activists. Unlike Pritchett, Clark and Connor frequently helped civil rights activists achieve their goals. Pritchett explains that his problem with the protesters was not their interest in integration, but with their massive public demonstrations. He remarks on the incredible power his role as police chief afforded him. He believes sheriffs should be politically elected, exposing tensions between sheriffs and police chiefs.

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