Timeline - Winter 1962
Not A Student Had a Hearing
In January, the community protested the fact that students did not get hearings before their suspensions. A.C. Searles, editor of the Southwest Georgian, Reverend J.D. Bolden, parents of suspended students, Emma Berry, Beatrice Johnson, Annie Culbreth, and Delores Jones saught an audience with President William Dennis. He refused, they later made an appointment with the Georgia Board of Regents, but snow prevented their efforts, the meeting was cancelled. Despite the promised “cooling off period” ASC suspended students demonstrated in small groups. Also, several students continued in their efforts to integrate Albany. Blanton Hall, Annette Jones, and Charles Jones of SNCC tried to buy coffee in the Trailways Bus Station Restaurant. Andrew Williams, Bernice Johnson, and Annette Jones attempted to integrate the Albany Public Library. In each case, they were refused service and they left without being arrested.
You Made the School Look Bad
January 3, 1962, the first hearings were held and each student was denied legal counsel. Present at the hearings were Dean Minor, President Dennis and Reverend Brown. Annette Jones, during her hearing, was told she was suspended because her arrest made the school look bad. Jones pointed out that other students who had been arrested for shoplifting and other illegal acts were still in school. The administrators told her “that had nothing to do with you.” At the conclusion of the taped recorded episode, President Dennis maintained that the suspension was still in effect. He read her suspension letter aloud to her from December. Later, Jones was told by a work study student over audio equipment, that he was given orders to erase the parts of the tape that spoke of the college’s bias concerning punishment inequity towards students that participated in the Albany Civil Rights Movement. There were a few faculty that privately expressed their regret over the attitudes of the school’s administration.
Soldiers of Freedom Trained to Teach
In January, suspended students Bobby Burch, Blanton Hall, Bernice Johnson, Anne Booyer, Andrew Reid, Brenda Darten, Annette Jones, Charles Gadsen, James Jones, Evelyn Toney, Nickey Humphries, and Charles Ransom attended SCLC's first Citizenship Training Program in Dorchester, Georgia. The session lasted for one week and the program administrators were Andrew Young, Septima Clark, and Dorothy Cotton. Students were trained in how to set up Citizenship Schools that would teach community folk writing, arithmetic, and all information necessary in getting community folk ready to register to vote. Cordell Reagon, Guy Carawan, from the Highlander School in Tennessee, and Hosea Williams of Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Martin Luther King, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, who arrived at the end of the week to speak with the students, were part of the SCLC training program. Albany State College Students returned to the city and set up Citizenship Schools in supportive Black churches.
Ola Mae Sat Down that Day
January 12 – Ola Mae Quartimon was arrested when she refused to move from a front seat on a city bus by telling the driver "I paid my damn twenty cents, I'll sit where I please." She was charged with using vulgar language. After her arrest, the Albany Movement leadership organized a bus boycott and a boycott of all White owned stores in downtown Albany.
Some Returned But the Leaders Never Did
January 19 – President Dennis issued a letter that stated "An agreement had been reached whereby we might permit suspended students to apply for readmission to Albany State College for the Spring Quarter which begins March 19, 1962…A conference will be arranged with you prior to making a final decision on your application." These letters were received by some of the students, there were others who did not get his letter. For those who were left out of this group, that had been suspended, Irene Asbury-Wright contacted colleges in Atlanta to see if they might accept ASC students that met their requirements. Staff members in the Registrar's Office at ASC provided unofficial copies of transcripts for these students. Slater and Marion King drove students to interviews at Spelman, Morehouse, and Morris Brown Colleges. These HBCUs agreed to accept ASC expelled students. Spelman College admitted Janie Culbreth, Bernice Johnson, and Annette Jones. Andrew Williams and James Jones went to Morehouse College and Anne Booyer went on to Morris Brown.
Bus Boycott Forces Shutdown
January 22 – Ola Mae Quartimon was tried and convicted, she served sixty days. On January 28, because of Quartimon's actions, the boycott she helped start, succeeded. The Albany Bus Boycott forced a shutdown of services in the City of Albany. The last bus ran at midnight, less than three weeks after Quartimon's arrest.