Box 1, Folder 14, Document 33

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Box 1, Folder 14, Document 33

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CITY OF ATLANTA
8 August J.969
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Memoran dum Regarding Discrimination .Against Black Firemen Of Atlanta

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Mayor Ivun All an , Chairman Board of Firema sters-, AJderma-n__Wm. :. T•
Knight and Atlanta Fire Chief Paul o• .Williams
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Black Firemen of Atlanta
From:
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The Black firefighters of Atlanta are dedicated municipal empl~ee ~, _ ., ,
concerne d with the safety and welfare of our city and all of its citizens ~ During the years of our tenure as firemen we have been subjected to dis-·criminatio n and abuses as outlined below. We r equest that imma diate _
action be t aken to correct ·these practices, and that on or before Mond~y,
August 18, 1969 that \'.'e receive a formal report on your 1ie.:t io ns in cor~ ~
ing t he acti ons cited herein:
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I.
HIRING PRACTICES
The ratio of Black Firemen to White Firemen -dR__es not correspon
- to th-e: population of Black citizens in Atlanta. There are-- about 90 to
100 Black Firemen in a department of more than 900 men. Blac k--Eiremen
that are drafted into the armed servic~s are replaced by _w.hite firemen
II.
SEGREGATED SLEEPING
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LOCKER A'\RANGEMENTS
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Lockers and beds of Black Firemen are placed in the back or away
from the white firemen.
III.
RECREATION CLUB
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The membership was clo~ed t he year Black Firemen wcro hired i~
Land was given to the club by the governme,P._t on Lake Allatoona~l3 acres)
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IV. PROMOTIONAL DISCRIMINATION l__io~ o-w--t ~ ~ 1 !~~:a-.... . -
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Black Firemen should be included in every department. White fi.u~
r.ien with less time and experience are promoted·· to -dr-i-ve1 posltion _s~~dlack
Firemen with 5 and 6 years should be promoted to Lieutenanti; because the
entire officer cabinet is made up of all white officers. Most of these
officers h ay__e. be en k o o v-n+-t-o..-f--G-:i.~-r--p-r-e--j-t2·d±c-e-s- on- a-l-a ck Firemen. We
=- -are ..a\'1ar e of the test for Lieutenants, but in a time of an emergency men
have been promoted wholesale from private to captains within a year, thus_
setting pr oper precedent. We consider this an emerge_n_cy ..-heG-al:t'Se-- -o-f tne
overall discrimination in the department. White drivers are giving up their
po&itions because they know future Lieutenants are going to be appointed by
Chiefs.· This is true because in the last captain's test the aides of all
the chief s dominated the list. Some of these Lieutenants didn't place in
the top 40 on the Lieutenants list. Now they are captains ..
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V.
EXPERIENCE AND LENGTH OF TI ME ON THE DEPARTMENT
Acting officers. we feel that every Black Fi remen with the time
and experience, equal to· any white firemen, should be . given .the opportunity ,
to be an ac~i ng office~: This ap~li~s to ~,tra driverso House d)ies
should be picked accord i ng to sen10,:-J_ty . . . _ G.,.J . . \ s ~
-h;nv- c,,t.;x
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VI.
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STNJDN~D SET OF RULES FOR ALL cAnArNS
Each shift is operat ed different, captain authority has no limit.
He forces personal prejudices on Black Firemen. Transfer of men to other
stations.
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FOR COrITACT:
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Fireman William Hamer
195 Hermer Circle , N. W.
Atlanta, Georg'ia 30311
- -elephon e - 794-2244
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or -- -Fire Station 16 on C Shift
Telephone 523-5786
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  1. http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_001_014_033.pdf

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