The Albany Movement and the Limits of Nonviolent Protest in Albany, Georgia, 1961-1962

Brendan Kevin Nelligan, Providence College


This thesis argues that the failure of the Albany Movement to force desegregation and gain concessions from the white establishment resulted from the use of a deeply flawed nonviolent protest model that required vast public dedication. The absence of this dedication led directly to the defeat of the Albany Movement in 1962. Further, the paper demonstrates that King and the SCLC implemented the same defective strategy in Birmingham a year later, very nearly leading to the failure of what Americans commonly see as a victory for the Civil Rights movement. Failing to study and truly understand the events in Albany deprives us of a true and accurate picture of the American Civil Rights movement.