Interview with Dr. William Anderson
QUESTION 4
JAMES A. DEVINNEY:

TELL ME ABOUT THE FORMATION OF THE ALBANY MOVEMENT.

Dr. William G. Anderson:

The Albany Movement was sort of a spontaneous thing. The name itself speaks eloquently to that spontaneity. What else is going to be called a movement? What happened was, as a result of this catalyst, and the catalyst was of course the SNCC students coming in, as a result of that catalytic reaction in the city of Albany, a number of the civic and social organizations sort of got together and—and decided all in one night—the people in the community apparently are ready for whatever is happening. We are their leaders. And we are not ready for what the people appear to be ready for. So we decided at that time it would be better for us local leaders to give some direction to whatever is happening than for these outsiders to give that direction. So we decided at that first meeting that was held at the home of Dr. Ed Hamilton, a dentist, we decided then that we representatives of the established civic and social organizations of the city of Albany should bind ourselves together. And we should become a part of what was happening, because the people apparently are ready for a change, and we their leaders have not taken the lead in this endeavor. And so after a good deal of conversation about well, what shall we call ourselves? And naturally we tossed around all sorts of names, but when the word "Albany Movement" or the words "Albany Movement" were spoken it sort of took hold at that time. And we never looked at any other names.