Box 13, Folder 21, Document 78

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Box 13, Folder 21, Document 78

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Jo1·~ 1
Emory Universit
Vol. 48, No. 8
Pcitie/6; }Jt. t. /(i1t9
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Dykes High School is located in northwest
Atlanta at the corneli of Powers Ferry and Jett
Roads across from Chastain Park. The fact of
its location is insignificant as is the fact of its
existence except that the institution serves to
provide needed educational facilities to the immediate surrounding area.
What is significant is the fact that few Negroes attend the school. Of course the reason for
this is that very f ew Negroes live in the neighborhood serviced ,b y Dykes. Thus the imp'Ortant
point is that very few Negroes live on the northside of Atla nta- in the social area known to
r eaders of the hate sheet, the Northside News,
Now it is not suggested that any person should
particularly want to live in that area or to
partake of its so-ca lled benefits : debutantes,
snobbery and other pleasantries. But it is a
very beautiful neighborhood with rolling lawns,
la rge estat es, much green and, thanks to fine
influence with the city, well-paved streets. In
fact, the best possible in city services, in school,
in all the things that go to make for gra-cious
living are provided t'o the needy residehts living
there. Need a t elephone installed, be right out,
none of this cr ap about party-lines. Garbag e
collect ed r egularly and streets, even the most
out of the way ones, cleaned with little dela y.
Yes, on the northside lives the wealth of Atlanta. The decision makers are there-the presidents of the companies, the senior partners ·o f
the law firms, t h e doctors who claim that status
brought by Piedmont Hospital. This is "Driving
Club" land. And there are no Negroes. Read the
social pag es of the Atlanta newspapers: no Negroes ever have parties, g et ma rried, or give
•b irth to children. In fact n'One of this goes on
a nywher e but the n orthside-if one trusts these
newspaper s.
Meanwhile the Biltmore Hotel was the host
last week to the annual meeting o.f the .Southern
Regional Council. At the banquet last Thursday
t he people mixed-eolored and white, gentile and
J ew. There were northsiders there. Seve ral weeks
earlier the Regency Hot el was the site of the
annual meet ing of t he S-outhern Christian Leadership Conference. Sidney Poitier, Mrs. Rosa
Parks, and Dr . Marti n Luther Kin:g lead t he
dignitaries. Mayor Allen was among t hem. And
there were many northsiders t here.
These annual meetings are important for two
r easons. They indicate that there are those
among the leadership of Atlanta who do not
hold the normal views of the northside. These
are the people who have been instrumental in
developing the policies and pr ogr ams that have
given Atlanta the progressive image that it has
t oday and who have elected or seen to the elec-
tion of the proper persons to carry out the
policies and programs.
The annual meetings also would indicate that
the organizations sponsoring the meetings exist.
The fact that the SRC and the SCLC still exis";
is a comment on our time. It is not that they
should have been wiped out by W;ives of Southern bigotry, but that there is still a need for
their continuation.
The comment is this: 1) it has been 12 years
since 1954 and the Brown decision; 2) it has
been over 100 years since the end of the r evolt
of the Southern states; 3) it has been almost
200 yea rs since these words were written"We hold these truths to be self evident: that
all men are created equal. . . ."
The facts are these: in Atlanta, schools a r e
still segregated in fact; Negroes must live in
one particular section 'Of town; no major law
firm has yet to hire a Negro lawyer; no major
company has hired Neg ro executives, the jobs
left open to Negroes a re menial a nd low paying
for the most part; no social club will accept
Negroes as members; Negro neighborhoods are
on the bottom in city services and assista nce
pr ovided by private companies; schools in these
neig hborhoods are the oldest and most crowded ;
in the slums landlords and loan sharks prey
upon the ignora nce created by white big otry
and d·o so unregulated by the law; for the most
pa rt pure racism governs the sale of houses
and the r ental of apartments in the better areas
of Atlanta preventing a Negro's moving there
even if he wanted to and on and on and on.
P erhaps this situation makes the point mor e
clearly : in the Commerce Building , home of the
organization that develo,p ed and stands for " For ward Atlanta"--the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, is locat ed the Commerce Club to which
no Negro is welcome as a guest or member, not
even the Assistant Secretary of Commer ce.
Atlanta has begun to take the faltering steps
to t reat all its citizens as the minimum demanded by huma n decency-a s human beings. Yet before the smugness settles too deeply in t hese
homes on t he northside where not much is seen
beyond the c·ount ry club, t hese people, who. see
the resolut ion of the problems of Detroit and Los
Angeles and New York and At lanta as better
police protection, should recognize what lip service to progress really means. It means nothing.
And to·o much depends on immediate action to
be satisfied with it.
The change that will come will not come overnight, but as one Southerner, Judge Wisdom of
the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, commented
in the Jefferson County case:
The clock has ticked the last t ick for tokenism
and dela:>: in the na

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