Box 16, Folder 6, Document 78

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Box 16, Folder 6, Document 78

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IGng Says
Picl{eting to
Grow Here
Atlanta Negroes' boycott and
picketing of a shoe store ch'ain
"is going to grow" to include
other Atlanta retail merchants,
Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. predicted Thursday.
Dr. King was among pickets
marching around in front of the
Peachtree store of ThompsonBoland-Lee, a shoe store. With
him on the picket line were
State Sen. Leroy Johnson and
City Alderman Q. V. Williamson.
"We believe that stores tl;lat
sell to Negroes should use Negro
personnel," Dr. King s-aid. " We
want some Negro salesmen up •
on the S"treet floor here."
Oscar Thompson, vice president and manager of the shoe
chain, said that his company
had 25 Negro employes out of
a total employe force of 125.
"My b u s i n e s s is selling
shoes," Thompson said. "I can't
let a bunch of ministers tell me
how to s-ell shoes. We have had
Negro employes for years, but
I'm not about to fire some white employe with 20 or mare ye·ars
experience juS"t to hire a Ne,gro
Thompson said that he was
sure his percentage of Nem;o
employes was higher than any
other Atlanta stores.
King complained that Negro
sales people at the shoe store
were "down in the basement"
and not on the main sales floor.
Thompson s-aid that all personnel in the sales force started
"in the basement" and moved
up as their experience warranted.

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