Box 7, Folder 17, Document 8

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Box 7, Folder 17, Document 8

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1203 City Hall
Atlanta, Georgia
Special Meeting of the Community Relations Commission, September 14, 1967,
City Hall.
Members Present:
Mr. Irving K. Kaler,,, Chairman
Rev. Samuel. Wi2liams, 1st Vice-Chairman
Miss Helen Bullard, 2nd Vice-Chairman
Mrs. Fred W. Patterson, 5 £:! c,retary
Mrs. Eliza K. Paschall:, Executive Dire·c·tor·.
Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan
Mr. Robert Dobbs
Mr. Jack Sel-ls
Rabbi Jacob M. Rothchild
Mr. Hamiltort~D6ugi~s, Jr.
Dr. Robert E. Lee ·
Mr. R. Byron Attridge
"Mr. T. M. Alexander, . Sr.
Mrs. · Sara Baker
Mr. M. O. Ryan..
Mr. James Pilcher, 'Associate Clty Attorney
Ann Moses, Ex.ecutive Secretary 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 c1;isis" .~nd a~
this time was calling upon responsible persons and those "whose testimony is
He announced that members of the Board of Education had been requested to attend,
and recogn i zed Mr. Tom McWhirter, Assistant School Board Attorney, Mr. McWhirter
said that the 9chool Bdard was in ' session at the time ; ~ta special mee t ing called
previous ly for a special personnel matter, that they regretted the breakdown in
communicati on.
Rev. Will iams asked about 1962 and 196 5 bond i ssues and promises to .Vine Ci ty.
Archi bi s ho p H~llina ~ sai d t ha t the · t al~ abou t "do~ble ses s ion sounds "like doubl e
t a lk".
Sena tor. S.. .: lls an nounced t hat he was r eques ti ng t he legis,l. a tive couns el to dra w
a bill. c·alling_ for the el ection of the Atlan t a ·s _c hool s upe ri ntend.ant.
The following pers on s spoke:
Rev. Elroy Embry: "Y es terday we went to Dr. Letson's offi ce , a sked f or a meet ing
wi th the Boa r d, we r e t ol d onl y two me thods for c alling a , mee t i ng - by Pr eside nt Cook
or ma jority of t he Boa r d. We asked him to c ontact memb.~ t s of the Boa rd, he s aid,
he didn't know if he could con tact them. •:, ·. Boa r d , Dr. Letson need to know t hey a r e
working for us .
Mr. Robe rt E. Baldwin : "Took ~ight da ys t o ge t a ppoint me nt with Boa rd, kn e w t e n
yea rs ago s chool s ov e rcrowded. When chiid gets off a t 12, tha t' s a half day.
If I work till 12, get paid for½ day . Unl ess Bo a rd acts , thi s i s going to hurt
whit e children too. Un educat ed peopl e l ead to poverty . It has helped to have
thits meeting, Turner High has bf'len two week s \i&,ithout books .
Page 2
Minutes of Special Meeting, September 14, 1967i '
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 c.en do is to meet".
Miss Helen Bullard:
Rev. Amos Holmes:
"Is that the p~iority, failure of Board -to meet"?
".Not just mee;t but that is IJlOs.t · c,ru~ial ~ •
Archbishop Paul J . Hallina~: "In ~omplete agreement, this is- no time for ~elay.
If we can assure .you of a meeting .tonight, is the~~ enough confidence .to withhold action"?
Rev. Amos Holmes:
"If we had been given assurance the other night, would have
Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan: "Have asked for a meeting, a sked citizen~ to withhold 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 .!::!i!h us. Board .. should be willing to commit themselves
to a certain case.
Rev. Samuel Williams:
Rev. Amos Holmes:
"What do you really expect"?
"Eve~y request could be met in 24 hours".
Archbishop Pa ul J . Hallinan :
Rev. Amos Holmes:
"Commission has much a t stake".
"A fter Dixie Hills, you reported fai_r1y".
Ra bbi Jacob M. Rothschild: "What would you accept as a compromise"?
Rev. Amos Holmes:
"In a conference with leaders, we would respond".
Mr. Robert Dobbs : "Want to speak about priorties, for mother of eight ~hildren,
who goes to Buckhead and leaves he re c hildren 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,
consequenc es 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 Letso~, 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 Brownp _Negroes to
Washington. You all wouldn't have had this meeting without what happened at the
Board meeting".
�Page 3
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 attach~d
Rev. Creecy: "We have been psychologically barred; want to balance the schools;
we did not force our way into Letson's office".
Mr. Robert Bay~es 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 r;Jti 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 prowised 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 comm~nity 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 be tween the Commis-·
sion, the Board of Education and the Superintendent, within 48 hours ( 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 16) 11 • (Message was telegraphed to President of the Board
Ed S. Cook immediately followin g the meeting, with copies sent to members of the
Board and to Dr. Letson)".

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