Text Item Type Metadata
COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMISSION
1203 City Hall
Special Meeting of the Community Relations Commission, Saptenper 14, 1967,
City Hall. j ;
Members Present: . Mr, Irving K, Kaler; Chairman
Rev. Samuel. Williams, lst VicesChaircman
Miss Helen Bullard, 2nd Vice-Chairman
Mrs. Fred W. Patterson, Secretary
Mrs, Eliza K.’ Paschall, Executive Director
Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Dr. Robert E. Lee
Mr. Robert Dobbs ' Mr. R, Byron Attridge
Mr. Jack Sells ‘ Mr. T. M. Alexander, Sr.
Rabbi Jacob M, Rothchild Mrs, Sara Baker
Mr. Hamilton”Douglas, Jr. -. Mr. M. O. Ryan
Mr. James Pilcher, Associate City Attorney
Mrs. Ann Moses, Executive peCEReey to the Mayor --
Alderman John M, Flanigen .
Alderman G. Everett Millican were present.
Mr. Kaler opened the meeting with a statement that the Commission had called the
meeting acting under the Ordinance which authorizes the Commission to "act as
conciliator"; that the Commission had "intervened prior to the crisis" and at
this time was calling upon responeabic persons and those "whose testimony’: is
pertinent". ; .
He announced that members of the Board of Education had been requested to attend,
and recognized Mr. Tom McWhirter, Assistant School Board Attorney, Mr. McWhirter
said that the School Board was in session at the time, at a special meeting called
previously for a special personnel matter, that they regretted the breakdown in
Rev. Williams asked about 1962 and 1965 bond issues and promises to Vine City.
Archibishop Hallinan said that the talk about "double session sounds like double
Senator Slls announced that he was requesting the legisjative counsel to draw
a bill calling for the election of the Atlanta school superintendent.
The following persons spoke:
Rev. Elroy Embry: "Yesterday we went to Dr. Letson's office, asked for a meeting
with the Board, were told only two methods for calling a,.meeting = by President Cook
or majority of the Board. We asked him to contact membéts of the Board, he said,
he didn't know if he could contact them....-Board, Dr. Letson need to kvee they are
working for us", cE,
Mr. Robert E. Baldwins “Took eight days ta get appointment with Board, knew ten
years ago schools overcrowded, When child gets off at 12, that's a half day.
If I work till 12, get paid for $ day. Unless Board acts, this is going to hurt
white children too. Uneducated people lead to poverty. It has helped to have
this meeting, Turner High has heen twa weeks without books.
Page 2 :
Minutes of Special Meeting, September 14, 1967
Rev. Amos Holmes: "We elicit your support for our requests; during 1959-60
asked Board to face problems, urged against token assignments; this has been
taking place since 1960; patience has a right to be exhausted; we want to be
reasonable, but the Board demonstrates that rising radicalism might be justified.
If Atlanta faces riot, could happen on this issue.’ Never. seen anything that
has unified people so. Simplest thing Board can do is to meet",
Miss Helen Bullard: "Is that the priority, failure of Board to meet"?
Rev. Amos Holmes: "Not just meet but that is most crucial’.
Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan: "In complete agreement, this is-no time for delay.
If we can assure you of a meeting tonight, is there enough confidence to with-
hold action"? ¢
Rev. Amos Holmes: "If we had been given assurance the other night, would have
Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan: "Have asked for a meeting, asked citizens to with-
hold taking action until Commission has exhausted all means".
Rev. Amos Holmes: "Not here to put Commission between us and the Board; to see
if Commission will act with us. Board should be wijling to commit themselves
to a certain case,
Rev. Samuel Williams: “What do you really expect"?
Rev. Amos Holmes: "Every request could be met in 24 hours".
Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan: "Commission has much at stake".
Rev. Amos Holmes: “After Dixie Hills, you reported fairly".
Rabbi Jacob M, Rothschild: "What would you accept as a compromise"?
Rev. Amos Holmes: "In a conference with dendexe; we would respond".
Mr. Robert Dobbs: "Want to speak about priorties, for mother of eight children,
who goes to Buckhead and leaves here children at home to get themselves to school.
Dr. Tate asked to correct this. Board knows the problem of bonding, should be
leading fight to get this changed, have Board members who never visit schools".
Mr. T. M. Alexander, Sr.: “Consequential damage can disrupt the whole town,
When children are involved, parents are not patient; this can disrupt the community,
consequences must rest on their shoulders’.
Rev. Joe Boone: “Here representing my daughter, 79 in class, 2 teachers; have
worked with Breadbasket, got Regency and others to open jobs, can't find qualified
people, people have to “limp your way in"; got to tell Letson, Allen people not
satisfied; tired of policies; no white pupils at Agnes Jones, whites at Harris
Homes go to another school; Whites at Harris Homes go to Brown, Negroes to
Washington, You all wouldn't have had this meeting without what happened at the
Board meeting", 7
Minutes of Special Meeting, September 14, 1967
Rev. Samuel Williams: "Commission did meet with Letson!.
Mr. T. M. Alexander, Sr.: "Commission was meeting Monday night, very time of
your meeting with Board, voted to meet with Board".
Mrs. Dorothy Bolden: "Have three girls at Washington High, have to leave home in
the dark, not going to put my girls out in street at that hour".
Rev. Howard Creecy, asked Rev, Williams to read the demands: copy attached
Rev. Creecy: "We have been psychologically barred; want to balance the schools;
we did not force our way into Letson's office".
Mr, Robert Bayries and Rev. Ward also spoke, emphasizing the point that if "we
must have burdens, we (Negroes & Whites) should bear them equally".
Mr. Kaler asked Mr. Attridge to go to the meeting of the School Board and ask if
any member of the Board or the staff would come to the meeting, and to request
a meeting with:the Board within 48 hours. Mr, Attridge returned to say that he
had conveyed the request; answer was that "last evening the Board promised the
Summit-Leadership Conference an answer in two weeks; will go into Executive
Session to consider points and will contact their leadership; their attorney
will contact the chairman; need time to consider the points".
Mr. Alexander said, "we asked not to meet to hear them restate their position, but
to discuss matters with them",
Archbishop Hallinan moved following resolution, which was passed:
"The Community Relations Commission, appointed by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen
of Atlanta and representative of the community of Atlanta is convinced that the
Board of Education fails to grasp the urgency of this education situation, and
again the Commission urgently requests that a meeting be held between the Commis='
sion, the Board of Education and the Superintendent, within 48 hours (5:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 16)", (Message was telegraphed to President of the Board
Ed S. Cook immediately following the meeting, with copies sent to members of the
Board and to Dr. Letson)",