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April 8, 1967
The Georgia State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
met at 9:30 on Saturday, April 8, in the 01d Post-Office Building. Nine or ten
spectators were present with fourteen members of the Council sitting. Rev. Oscar
McCloud acted as Chairman in the absence of Dr. Vivian Eenderson, President of
Clark College, who was investigating a "sleep out” at his school. It seems the
students of Clark College protesting the absence of adequate police protection
decided to sleep on Clark College's lawn, saying it was safer there.
First panel: Rev. Andrew Young--S.C.L.C.; Hr. Jac Hendricks--Georgia Council
_on Human Relations; Rev. Amos Holmes--N.A.A.C.P.; Mrs, Clayton--Director of
Housing for American Friends Service Committee; Mr. Collinson~-Employment, American
Friends Service Committee. |
Testimony—-Rev. Andrew Young--Ghetto and density are synonomous, there are
separate application offices for, Negro and white applicants for public housing
in Atlanta. There is subtle discrimination, He urged fair housing and open
Testimony--Mr. Joe Hendricks--Urged true desegregation of public housing,
easing of harsh regulations that impede the poor. There is de-facto segregation
in new housing. White housing is cheaper, in (Negro) Collier Heights a 320,000
home would be $16,000 or $17,000 in Buckhead. Negroes pay a larger proportion
of their income for rent than whites.
Testimony--Rev. Amos Holmes, Vice President, Atlanta N.A.A.C.P.--There are
50% of Negroes living on $3000 incomes. 9,800 housing units are needed by December
to house displaced Negroes. 43% of the total population is Negro, using only 20%
of the land, The N.A.A.C.P. has a suit pending to withhold funds to model cities
until people in affected areas are on planning board and consulted on plans, and
there is an absence of discrimination.
Testimony—-Mrs. Clayton-~ The myth is being exploded that property values
go down when Negroes move in. Nrs. Clayton testified that in the Cascade (si)
area an attempt is being made to educate and change attitudes. She found that
there is a dual market, white realtors, wanting to sell only to Negroes, put
_ their "ads" in Negro papers. Jobs are limited because of failure to obtain
convenient housing. Advocates open housing, open occupancy.
Testimony--Mr. Collinson, Recreation-- Urged open housing, open occupancy,
Applicants for jobs in Doraville, Chamblee, etc. have real difficulty getting to
jobs. Planned recreation is difficult because of prejudice especially in swimming.
Rev. Andrew Young of Southern Christian Leadership Conference asked to be
heard on Model Cities he testified: In Summer Hill Model cities he considered
that there was no citizens' pasitiedbetion because no policy makers on the board
are area people. High class motels and hotels are replacing residential areas
i.e. Marriot Hotel, etc. There should be a humane pattern of re-location. There
exists segregation by class. Concerned citizens can not get information about
model cities. 221-D-3 housing should be non-profit.
Mrs. Stanley of Greater Atlanta Council’ on Human Relations--Testimony.
Urged open housing--fair housing. Told Decatur, Georgia story. Said that in
Decatur, Negroes are being driven out by urban renewal. In Decatur and Hast Lake
because of realtors having sold property in transitional areas to Negroes signs
"For Sale" are prohibited in yards. This ‘is an area of extreme ghetto housing.
Rev. Holmes of N.A.A.C.P.--Testimony—-Asked to speak again, urged citizen
participation at policy level by law. An injunctive procedure see if it is dis-
Mr. Stanton, Housing Dept.--Testimony--One property owner tried to get easement
for sewers, unable to get it to improve property because she was Negro. At same
time, whites in like situations were able to do so, without difficulty.
1. Northside Drive near Arden Drive--Negroes own property here but there
is concerted attempt to squeeze them out because it being of desirable location
2. In Capitol Homes there is over-charge on rent from $50.00 to 370.00 to
$87.00, tenant told that because he did not accurately report income, he will be
evicted in one week. When asked about moving to another housing project nearer
to his work tenant told that the only two ways are physical condition, and size
Mr, Edward Moody--Mechanicsville Community leader asked to be heard. Mr.
Willmore said that agenda was filled, but after much discussion, Mr. Moody was
given an appointment at 1:30 P.M. Mr. Samples of the "Grass Roots Council" also
asked to be heard but later agreed to submit his findings in writing for the
Panel: Real Estate
Mr. Bickers both absent
Panel--Mrs. Marshall J. Mantler and Dr. Wittenstein of the American Jewish
Committee. Mrs. Mantler who is a licensed Atlanta realtor testified that Jews
are excluded from six sub-divisions in Northwest Atlanta. She said that there
are subtle ways of exclusion such as a club system in which homes are sold in a
certain area to people belonging to.the club. 2, There are restrictive clauses
written into deeds. These are un-constitutional but most buyers shy away from
law-suits. 3. Another restriction on sale of homes to Jews is an agreement by
realtors to allow only ten per cent of the homes to be purchased by Jews.
Dr. Wittenstein--Testimony~-Most of his testimony corroborated Mrs. Mantler's.
Dr. Cothran of the Committee asked Dr. Wittenstein what would happen if a Negro
tried to buy a home in a Jewish Community. Dr. Wittenstein had to confess that
the Jew would move out, the Jews are just as prejudiced as the other whites and
did not desire Negro neighbors. Both these panelists urged that the Committee
help to establish a program to alleviate the Jewish situation (nothing was said
about the Negro one). Mr. Willmore of the Committee was interested in knowing
whether any of these locations were under F.H.A. Told that they were not, (they
were all (nearly all) in the luxury class, above F.H.A. .
Mr. Watson of the Communicable Diseases Health Center--Testimony-— He testi-
fied that no Negroes (staff members ) have been able to get homes or apartments
in the area. There are apartments on North Decatur Road, but will not rent to
Negroes. Mr. Willmore suggested that Atlanta Federal Housing be alerted to this
‘sitwtion ee what will happen. He reminded listeners that any F.H.A. guaranteed
loan acceptance prohibits discrimination and many of these owners refusing Negro
leases are clearly in violation of the law, under title 1, of the Civil Rights
Panel: Mrs. Holloway, Mrs. Caudy, Mr. Billingslea. Mrs, Holloway--Owner in
a changing neighborhood--She lives in a Southwest Atlanta home, had difficulty
finding home, had a Negro realtor finnaly bought directly from owner. Transitional
area homes are usually over=priced. No contact with white neighbors. There
were no homes for sale except hers when she moved in; now three white persons have
offered their homes for sale.
racitswis aclteneus cues very similar; white children shot B.B. guns into
glass door, but have ceased, one white girl tried to be friendly to her daughter
and was completely ostracized by white neighbors. There is a new club going and
at is hopeful that some Community spirit can be developed with white neighbors.
Mr. Billingslea--A real estate broker testified that Negro realtors aren't
really block-busting, they are simply trying to fill a demand of Negroes for
better housing and some times when they contact owners in neighborhood this is the
only way they can do this.
Panel--Dr. Lee Shelton, Mr. Haver, Mr. Buchwalter.
These three people were living in a transition avea in the S.W. section,
Dr. Lee Shelton--Negro physician--Testimony——Testified ne simply wanted a
nice house with room enough £62 Wis children, found it only in West Manor, Audubon
Forest in a white neighborhood. He has had no trouble. Neighbors are friendly.
Mr, Haver--a public school teacher at South-West High, Lives next door to a
Negro. The first night the Negroes moved in he and his wife wnet over to welcome
them, carried a pitcher of tea, said the Negro neighbors wend: 1008 them, they did
not really know what to expect but they have found they are so alike in ate
ways they have become friends socially and otherwise.
Mr. Buchwalter--also lives in the West Manor area, He came to Atlanta to
purchase a home in a neighborhood like this. He has had no difficulty. Works
for 0.E.0. in CAP program. Dr. Shelton and Mr. Haver said the only,regret they
have is prejudice in keeping their boys in West Manor out of the Little League.
Officials have dropped West Manor because of the Negro boys boing in the League.
Resumed at 1:30
Edward Moody--Mechanicsville community leader-—~Testimony--l. Rights end
where color begins, 2. City planners are not consulting people in Atlanta
based programs, 3. Public housing is not operated on a non-discriminatory basis.
4. This, the Advisory Committee, is a good example of prejudice. They have in
vited all these professors and officers of organizations, but no grass roots
: Panel--Mr, Walter Scott--Dekable real estate broker,
1. Mr. Scott said in his native county, DeKalb, a white realtor will not
sell a Negro property in a white neighborhood, It was brought out that + of
his business is with federally financed F.H.A. home owners that prohibits dis-
crimination. Mr. Seott doubts that DeKalb County would support open housing.
2:40--Dr. Vivian Henderson arrived and took over the Chairmanship.
Panel: Mr. Brown--Atlanta Federal Savings & Loan Assoc., representing white
Testimony--A committee member asked Mr. Brown what would happen if he, a Negro,
wanted to borrow money from nis company to buy a home in a white neighborhood.
Mr. Brown replied that he se be relcutant to lend him the money because he would
“not want to upset the peace.and tranquility of the white community. Mrs. Yancey
of the Committee told him that supposing the applicant for the loan were an old
customer of 20 years had an excellent credit rating and could easily repay his
company. He said he would still be reluctant. Dr. Henderson of the Committee
then reminded Nr. Brown that this could also work against him if the Negro Com-
munity found out he would not lend the Negroes the money, they would re-act against
him. Mr. Brown said in that case he would lend it to them. He said he believed
passage of open housing bill would stiffen the resistance.
Mr. Staten--Lawyer--National Bank of Georgia-~Testimony=--Said there is no
policy of discrimination. Mr. Wilmore asked if they had any junior officers of
color at his bank. He admitted they did not, said there were clerical workers.
Mr. Al Henry--Council on Human Relations--lMr, Henry had contacted 27 realtors
from newspaper ads of property in white neighborhoods:
19 out of 27 said they would not sell to Negroes, all the houses were on loans
guaranteed by F.H.A. F.H.A. is either a silent or active partner in discrimination.
Mr. Hartman--Deputy Director of Federal Housing Authority--Testimony-~ If
we get @ complaint we will see that the guilty person is put out of the program.
Only one complaint in Georgia since 1962. It was brought that most F.H.A. brokers
are white. (These are authorized people dealing with lists of re-sale property
under F.H.A.) These are called real estate management brokers. Lists are made
up after property has been sold it does not give a fair chanceto any outside
sales person. There have been six sales in predominantly white areas to Negroes.
Mr. Moreland Smith--Southern Regional Council--Testimony--Open housing advocated,
Mr, Rutledge--NEDH--Legislation needed for Committee against discrimination
Model cities discussed:
1, Having a demonstration city that keeps people in ghetto is not the
2. Model cities is not a program, it is a technique.
3. Segregated housing is caused by urban renewal.
4. Urged real community participation.
Mr. Bob Thompson--Urban Development Dept,—-Amidst talk of housing units
being built on west side exclusively because there is no space, name three possible
l. Canterbury Road--North of Lenox Road,
2. Railroad Avenue--Opposite Lenox Square.
3. House Road in Dekald County; could it be leased?
Mr. Persell, Mrs. Paschall, Mr. Cecil Alexander, Mr. Robinson
1. Mr. Cecil Alexander--Do we build in the core or where? Difficult to work
in DeKalb County because they have no Nyvorkable" program.
2. Mr. Robinson--The need is for equal opportunity non—profit housing.
3. Mrs. Paschall--The residents of the community! use the term "stabilization"
I mean open occupancy.
4. Mr. Persell--Need for a total community fair housing commission.
5. Information should be collected and disseminated,
6. There should be a moderate income development office.
7» Find houses and finance them.