Box 17, Folder 1, Document 44

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Box 17, Folder 1, Document 44

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Mr. Ralph Moore
Chairman of the
Committee on Appeal for Human Rights
Atlanta University
Atlanta, Georgia
Dear Mr. Moore:
May I acknowledge receipt of your wire of December 22, 1962 which reads
as follows:
The Students of Atlanta University feel as if you have made a great mistake
1n supporting the establishment of an Atlanta wall acrossPey-ton and Harlan Roads.
In reply to a request of the All Citizens Committee on Better Citizens Planning,
we ovill supply 175 picketers per day for the Westend business area. We will
also stage several mass demonstrations at the Atlanta City Hall with no less than
1500 students. This action will focus the eyes of the world on the Atlanta City Wall.
We do not want Atlanta to have this type of publicity. Therefore we encourage you to
remove the wall and save the good image of Atlanta while there is still time."
First, this is to advise you that at the request of Mr. Virkgil Copeland,
President of the Southwest Civic Association, I have asked reyresentatives of the
following four groups to form a citizens committee to discuss the problems
confa,onting the Peyton-Forest, Harlan Road area situation.
Mr. Q. V. Williamson
has advised me that the citizens Committee of Better Plannning will represent
him in his capacity as Co-chairman of the Atlanta Negro Voters League.
I would
thank that any action prior to the deliberations of this committee and its recommendations
would be precipitious and harmful to our best efforts .
Second, I would like for the students of Atlanta University to have f ull knowledge
aind acquaint themselves with the overall problem and with the complete record to
date which is as follows:
The Peyton - Harlan Road problem is the
52nd area or
street to undergo nei~hborhood expansion, penetration or encorachment since the
first of the year .
The record is almost flawless insofar as the protection of the
rights of the Negro citizen is concerned.
I am enclosing a list of the 51 str eets on
�which this problem has bean handled to the complete satisfaction of the Negro
Community to date this year.
I hope that the students with t h eir ability to
analyze factual conditions will study carefully this record, and I would hope that
they would express their complete satisfaction and accord with the record of this
administration.
I am certain that the matter having been handled so as to protect the rights
of all persons in the first fifty-one instances wou ld raise the question o f w h y it is
not b e i ng handled the same w ay in the Peyton-Harlan Road in s tance .
again, can be factual and «a:m definite.
The a ns w er ,
The Peyton Road incident, consisting mainly
of Fielding Lane agitation, is an a r tificial, unnatural condition created by unscrupulous
pa rti es, both w hite and Ne g ro w ho have attempte d through une t hical, di s loya l and
false misrepresentations to panic the residents o f an established community .
To pr event thi s con dition, I ha ve pre v iously worke d w ith the Empir e R e al
Es t a t e B oa rd a n d a citizen s
committee compose d o f the W est end B u s i nessmen' s
association and the E m pire Real Estate Board.
In spite o f a previous record o f
excellent c ooperation, from thes e two bodie s, i t wa s impos s i ble to pr event this
arti fica l bargining of land to be stoppe d .
May I invit e your a ttention to t h e fact that the closing of P e yton and H arland
Roa d s is in i nconvenience to m o stly whi t e c i t izens a nd p r actically n o N egro cit izens.
It do es not pr event access or egress into any area of town, nor does it limit any
right s of the ixJm:.oix individual citizen fr o m purcha s e o r s a l e or oth er fundamenta l
liberties.
It has merel y served as a warning to unscrupulous real estate deal ers that
Atlanta will not tol erate under the g uise of " race d escrimination" the d estruc tion of
fundamental val ues amongst any of its citizens .
-2-
�I would hope that you would study this problem carefully and I want to
as sure you that if there is any additional information you desire that I will be glad
to supply it.
The record as outlined above shows that the rights of all citizens have been
protected without question in 51 out of 52 instances and now there is a question mark
as to the 52nd instance.
Atlanta's reputation has been built by those who have
carried out the aforegone record.
It is my sincere hope that the students of
Atlanta University will not destroy this record by any unusual demontrations at
this time.
Should you ignore the aboe request and feel that you must picket for the sake
of picketing, then b e assured that the rights of the indiv idual in picketing will be
zelously guarded by the law enforcement body of this city.
Should you wish to
picket the city hall for the purpose of National publicity, then, if you will let me
know, I will be g l ad to receive you on the city hall steps at an appropriate time.
I
iv
hope you will tell the students of Atlanta University that our record
is outstanding and that I hope they will not destroy it with any unnecessary or overt
action.

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  1. http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_017_001_044.pdf

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