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Film, Video A time for freedom

digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • A time for freedom


  • This documentary features footage from the "Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom," a civil rights demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial on May 17, 1957. It also includes interviews with attendees, and scenes from the Montgomery bus boycott, Harlem, New York, and segregated areas in the South.


  • Lerner, Carl, film producer, film director
  • Lerner, Gerda, 1920-2013, screenwriter
  • Rahn, Muriel, narrator
  • Parks, Rosa, 1913-2005, speaker
  • Kilgore, Thomas, 1913-1998, speaker
  • Robinson, Cleveland L. (Cleveland Lowellyn), 1914-1995, speaker
  • Belafonte, Harry, 1927-2023, speaker
  • Randolph, A. Philip (Asa Philip), 1889-1979, speaker
  • Wilkins, Roy, 1901-1981, speaker
  • Perry, Milton, speaker
  • Rustin, Bayard, 1912-1987, speaker
  • Shuttlesworth, Fred L., 1922-2011, speaker
  • Johnson, Mordecai W. (Mordecai Wyatt), 1890-1976, speaker
  • Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr., 1908-1972, speaker
  • Diggs, Charles C., speaker
  • King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968, speaker
  • Counts, Dorothy, 1942- onscreen participant
  • Eckford, Elizabeth, 1941- onscreen participant
  • Jackson, Mahalia, 1911-1972, performer
  • Lawson, Peggy, film editor
  • Silk, Lawrence, contributor

Created / Published

  • [1957?]


  • -  Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom--(1957 :--Washington, D.C.)
  • -  African Americans--Civil rights
  • -  African Americans--Social conditions
  • -  Civil rights--United States
  • -  Civil rights demonstrations--United States
  • -  Race discrimination--United States
  • -  United States--Race relations
  • -  Civil rights movements--United States


  • Documentary films
  • Short films
  • Nonfiction films


  • -  Narrator: Muriel Rahn.
  • -  Speakers: Rosa Parks, Thomas Kilgore, Cleveland Robinson, Harry Belafonte, Ted Brown, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Milton Perry, Bayard Rustin, Fred Lee Shuttlesworth, Mordecai Johnson, Adam Clayton Powell, Charles Coles Diggs Jr., Martin Luther King Jr.
  • -  Appearing: Dorothy Counts, Jo Ann Allen, Bobby Cain, Elizabeth Eckford, Abraham Lincoln Davis, Charles Kenzie Steele.
  • -  Performer: Mahalia Jackson.
  • -  Editors, Peggy Lawson, John Schultz ; cinematographer, Al Burney ; research, Larry Silk.
  • -  Principally filmed May 17, 1957 at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, D.C.
  • -  Part of summary adapted from a CSPAN program summary.
  • -  Sources used: CSPAN program summary for "Reel America, a time for freedom" January 18, 2021, viewed online January 17, 2024 via Internet Archive.


  • 1 video file (digital) (approximately 30 min.) : sd., b&w.

Source Collection

  • MacDonald (J. Fred and Leslie W.) Collection (Library of Congress)

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2024601014

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Lerner, Carl, Film Producer, Film Director, Gerda Lerner, Muriel Rahn, Rosa Parks, Thomas Kilgore, Cleveland L Robinson, Harry Belafonte, et al. A Time for Freedom. performeds by Jackson, Mahalia [?, 1957] Video.

APA citation style:

Lerner, C., Lerner, G., Rahn, M., Parks, R., Kilgore, T., Robinson, C. L. [...] Silk, L. (1957) A Time for Freedom. Jackson, M., performer [?] [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Lerner, Carl, Film Producer, Film Director, et al. A Time for Freedom. performer by Jackson, Mahalia [?, 1957] Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.