Box 17, Folder 15, Document 19

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Box 17, Folder 15, Document 19

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Gentlemen, I have the honor, privilege and responsibility of
serving as Mayor of the leading Southeastern City of Atlanta, Georgia.
Atlanta has a City population of slightly over 500,000 people and a
metropolitan population slightly over l , 100, 000 people.
The 500, 000
people that make up the central City of Atlanta consists of 300, 000
I
I
white citizens and slightly over 200, 000 Negro citizens.
In general,
Atlanta is 60% white and 40% Negro.
Nowhere is the problem of the elimination of discrimination
-b tween the race _ more prevalent than it i
to the local elected official
who must wrestle with and solve this problem created by circ"Um ta.nee
beyond bi control and th n ignored by the r sponsible
lend definition to th
solution.
I
rties who hould
peak of the probl ma having b en
brought into iocu by Supreme Court deci ion and then generally
i nor d by the Pr sid nt and Congre
Faced
ly with the
of di cl'imin tion
often wonder wher
most
t w
hav
ol
United Stat s.
bl
problem of the
i mination
directed by the F deral Court , loc 1 ofiici le mu t
the Con r
c:1 finition or - aplanation in th
probl m
'\Ul
of th
of the Uni d Stat a
tand in off ri
solution of th mo t diUlcult
tional
ver had.
W cannot h lp but look with mu ement. • • if not euapicion • • •
• c rtain member• of th Co
rea
dtb
s
4 nouno
th d ciaio a
�Page 2
of the Supreme Court and offer no relief to the dilemma that local
officials are confronted with in carrying out these decisions.
You
gentlemen must be conscious of the fact that whereas P resident Kennedy
has made two appointments to the Court and there are
Eisenhowel' appointments and


Tru.man appointments and
Roosevelt appointments, only the Senate of the United
States has as an el cted body the continuing function over the years of
approving all of thes
appointments .
What I am aying, gentlemen is --
This is your Court that has brought into focu
problem and only you
thi
could have changed it overall makeup through the ye rs.
fe
Reg rdlesa of our convictions,
ling
or . motions in th matter
of racial discrimin tion, the time ha c.om wh n we mu t fac
simpl f eta.
Thea
facts
either --- w
r
discrimination or you must provid
in thi
y t m.
probl m when it Kist in
l gal means for a two-cast
You c nnot continu to
-I a
sy tem
loa l suec
auc:c

k d me her
in dealing with th!
ful b c us we
y tbat this i
arly v ry city in Americ


ry t te ln Am i-ic -· and all cro


You
be
must Uminate r cia.1
country nd carry out through legal el). ctm.ent for local offici 1
to deal with - uch
ev
up to
-- in nearly
th N tion.
to giv you th
r v
local
problem.
c
round of Atlanta'
~ically w
cc pted th in vitabllity e>.f th
ve only
Court's
�Page 3
decisions and attempted to solve them by local cooperation.
It should
be perfectly plain that the solution in every instance granted to the
....
Negro citizen rights which white American citizens and American business
had previously reserved to themselves as special privileges.
privileges have been carried out by a multitude of local and
These
,(..l,tkfy.,bJ.td
statewide ordinances that provided for segregation in every conceivable
form.
I make it perfectly plain to you gentlemen that in not a single
in tance have we enhanced or retained segregated privileges where we
have d ealt with this mattel'.
Following a series of reasonable desegregation such as golf
cour es and bus es in the SOi • Atlanta took the following major step s
in the early 60 1 s:
D ate
A rea
A ction
9/61
School
C ourt ord r
10/ 61
D partm nt
variety
luncb. c ount rs
l/ 6Z
C i ty FacUitie
voluntary (city official )
5/ 62
Downtown nd art - theatre
volun
5/ 63
N gro fi r etnen hir -d
voluntary (c i ty offici 1 )
6/63
Swimming pool
Court order - voluntary
d - ciai on to open pool
(city offici 1 )
6/63
18 1 a.ding hot l ·
voluntary





voluntary





6/63
tor
pproximat ly 33 le din
r
voluntary
.t
ction





ry •
�Page 4





In each instance voluntary action consisted of cooperative
action between operators of affected businesses and
responsible Negro leadership.
You can readily see that in some instances this has been under
· Court action and in other instances has been vol untary prior to Court
action.
In each in tance it ha
resulted in the white citizen giving up
pecial privileg s which be enjoyed under a segregated society and bas
Negro ditizen being given rights which all other people
re ulted in th
had and which he did not previously enjoy.
It would
tr nsition ba
well for me to expl in to you how limited this
b en and bow little of it tM Ne ro citizen can
in even · t this time.
Out of hundred of r
d segregatio.n: affect les
t urants in Atlanta, th
than fifty of them.
bov ·
The hotel plan is based on
d . lthough prominent Negvo s hav
conv ntion
rticipat
b e:n cc pt din
hotels, th Ne ro citiz n UI as a whole a ldom hows up.
With
in Atlan , on of Atlanta's leading r
urant
there
h d ixte n . of th m to din ;.-1,.a during th fir t w k of it d s gr
tion
Z0-0, 000 Negro citiz n
and
not bad
y
ince tbi8 clay.
All of thi ,
ntlern n, l
of economics and it ahould be remember d that the right to u
do
low
not in
y
omic
y indicate that it wW
roup.
uaed
qu ation
eom thing
91 or miau ed by
�Page 5
The above statements concern the actual changes in Atlanta' s
elimination of discrimination.
.....
May I now ubmit to you my per onal reasons why we think
Atlanta. ha . resolved ome of these probl ms whereas in other Southern
citi a , tb.e solution has seemed to be impossible and strife and conflict
have result d .
It would be best for me to de crib a rec nt visit of an offiei l
delegation from a gr
t Eastern city that bas a N gro population of over
600, 000 consisting of in
xc:e s of 20% of their whole population.
came to Atlanta to det rmine
we:i-
hy we had gone furth r with ucc s
njoying a great conomie pro
rity wher
and an un mploym nt rate of
three tim s of what Atl
'a wa.a.
ce bring
hav gon
to
conomic pro perity.
, th two
tall of our civic
ould
-rdly b li
ffort to solve ·oui- anv
t1l y t
di • · .eked by th
d e rrted out by the City Go~rnm•nt
. maelv•• with
d
d political int r st of AU nta had in~ ntly
U with ita N gro popul tion. l do ·
that they ar convinced t
int•re t
sadly referrin that
th r.
busln s , civic
concerned it
pproxima.ti ly
How v r, in Atl n
tion ehnply did not under tand
t th
and
they w re having
unlimit d racial probl m
I am not n c
They
blic
e daily co cern d
t problem •• 'Ill, and that 18
�Page 6
race relations.
Gentlemen, Atlanta bas n ot swept this question under
rug at any point. Step by step .. sometimes under Court order -
th
sometimes voluntarily moving ahead of preasures - sometimes adroitly' an.d many time
clumsily - we hav tried to find a solution through an
£feet d whit own rship and the Negro 1 adersbip
agreement between the
to each of these probl ms .
have not appoint d a. huge bi- racial eommittee that
To do this w
b com
a stop-gap for every cone ivable que _tion, but on the oth r ha.J)d
each tim th probl m bas eome into focus ,
own r
to deal with th · top N
the top N gro le der
ro 1
der
e have appointed th atre
.. or hot l own
l'
to de
- or voluntarily e rtain rest urant oWtl
l'
with
dealt
with th top N gro lead r hip , and by d v loping th lines of community
and
rt
pectability, w hav b en abl
0th r cit!
ba.v work d q
to r ac::b n amicable olution.
hard and in many in
lly
have £ led and U 1 would Uk to xplaln to you
ucc
d d wh r
v
th y
-1,,J:Jt.Mt
c
why I think we
om time f iled .
tla.nta b th c n r of high r N gro due tion in th · orld.
Th r
re six r
City Umita.
Morna Bro
d Coll I
They r
Atlanta Univ r lty, Cl rk Coll g , Mor
Colle e , Spelm

e area.
ve ·c
t
re
loc t d inside our
Colle
d an in rd
r •ult of high r
umber of int 111
in ln tbi• <:ity.
due tio
n1~ well-ti-ai
o
in a
oua •
t1onal
ble ln
d N 1ro cut~ n
reeuU f thelt tr ,
and
v
�---- -
Page 7
higher education they have had the capacity to develop a great Negro
business comm.unity.
1n Atlanta it consists of financial institutions
like banks . - building and loan associations - life insurance companie •
Uk the Atlanta Life Insuranc
dealers.
Company - chain drug stor s - real e tate
Jn fact, they have developed, I believe, in almost every line of
acknowledged Am rican bu in ss.
Then there is another strong factor.
In Atlanta there is a strong daily N gro newspaper - Th Atlanta Daily
World.
Owned and operat d by a prominent Negro family - the Scott
family - th y operat
chain of daily and we kli s throughout th country.
the str rngth of a daily n w paper with ve ted intere t
But it i
an ducated religious and bu in
community that carri
eked by
its voic
to th
Negro citizen •
Do not be mi led by th word 11 con erva.Uv " a
d
irou• of dditional civil
d economic
Am :ric n citi _n ie.
They imply r
obtain \h
nit i
right
to tb end of obtainin th
th m
iv · s.
to er ate
e r1 ht
th y
r
d per onal ri ht a
liz that it i
ae
y
mor impo,:tant to
mon tr tions. And it i
that th y const.antly addr •

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