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Atlanta

Atlanta is a city of the South. Atlanta has been called Black Mecca before. So many strong Brothers and
strong Sisters live in Atlanta too. It is also the home of people of many different backgrounds. Also, it has
grown in the past centuries of its existence. It is the most populous city in Georgia and it is located in Fulton
County. It has a rich history and a strong culture. So, many civil rights leaders, musicians, lawyers, mayors,
scholars, engineers, and other great leaders are from Atlanta too. The Southern city of Atlanta has inspired
people globally. Its commerce has grown over the years. It has business services, logistics, professional
jobs, and jobs related to information technology. The ATL is still here. It has a little over 130 square miles
with a population of about 447,841. The mayor in Atlanta today is Kasim Reed. We find that religion is
heavily strong in Atlanta. Religious places were some of the homes of the organization and coordination of
social movements in the city. Most people in Atlanta are Protestants and Baptists. Additionally, there are
Muslims, Jewish people, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. in the community as well. There are over 1,000 places of
worship in Atlanta. Atlanta has the 8th largest economy in America and the 17th largest in the world.
Corporate operations have a huge influence in Atlantas economy. It is the city where many of the regional,
national, and global headquarters of many corporations are located at. The city is the global headquarters
of corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, Chick-filA, UPS, and Newell-Rubbermaid. Over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies conduct business operations
in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250 multinational corporations.
CNN is headquartered in Atlanta too. Atlanta is also a center for film and television production. Many of the
film and television production facilities in Atlanta are Turner Studios, Pinewood Studios (Pinewood Atlanta),
Tyler Perry Studios, Williams Street Productions, and EUE/Screen Gems soundstages (Now, I don't follow
the agenda of the mainstream entertainment industry. I want to make that clear). Also, the people of
Atlanta are filled with strength, the love of truth, and honor.
*When we look at different cities of America, we see how connected we are as human beings. We see that
justice is important to promote and regardless of where we live, we desire liberation for all. Atlanta will
continue to grow and develop as we want Atlanta to reach into higher heights.

The Early Years


The city of Atlanta has a long history. In the beginning, Native Americans lived in Atlanta. The Creek and
Cherokee Native Americans lived in the territory of Atlanta including its suburbs. The Native American
trading post in Peachtree is mentioned in 1762. By 1813, the Creeks (who were recruited by the British to
assist them in the War of 1812. The War of 1812 in America was about how the British tried to reconquer
America, but they were defeated by the early American nation back then) attacked and burned Fort Mims
in Southwestern Alabama. This conflict expanded and became known as the Creek War. In response,
America built many forts along the Ocmulgee and Chattahoochee Rivers like Fort Daniel (on top of Hog
Mountain near modern day Dacula, Georgia) and Fort Gilmer. Fort Gilmer was situated next to an
important Native American site called Standing Peachtree. Standing Peachtree is named after a large tree
which is believed to have been a pine tree (the named referred to the pitch or sap that flowed from it). The
word "pitch" was misunderstood for "peach," thus the site's name. The site traditionally marked a Native
American meeting place at the boundary between Creek and Cherokee lands, at the point where Peachtree
Creek flows into Chattahoochee. The Fort was soon renamed Fort Peachtree. There was a road linking Fort
Peachtree and Fort Daniel following the route of existing trails. Native Americans were systematically
removed from their lands in northern Georgia from 1802 to 1825.
The Creek ceded the area that is now Metro Atlanta in 1821. White settlers arrived in 1822. Nearby Decatur
was founded in 1823. In 1835, some leaders of the Cherokee Nation ceded their territory to the United
States without the consent of the majority of the Cherokee people in exchange for land out west under the
Treaty of New Echota. This act led to the Trail of Tears where many Native Americans were unjustly forced
of their lands in the South and forced to live in Oklahoma and other places of America (this evil was
supported by the President Andrew Jackson). By this time, the railroad system grew in America. In 1836,
the Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad. They wanted to provide a
link between the port of Savannah and the Midwest.
The initial route of the state sponsored project was to run from Chattanooga, Tennessee to a spot east of
the Chattahoochee River (in present day Fulton County). The plan was to eventually link up the Georgia
railroad from Augusta and with the Macon and Western Railroad (which ran between Macon and
Savannah). There was an U.S. Army engineer named Colonel Stephen Harriman Long. He was asked to
recommend the location where the Western and the Atlantic line would terminate. He surveyed various

possible routes. By the fall of 1837, he drove a stake in the ground near what is now the intersection of
Forsyth and Magnolia Streets, about 3-4 blocks southeast of todays Five Points. The zero milepost was
later placed to mark that spot. John Thrasher in 1839 built homes and general stores in this vicinity. The
settlement was nicknamed Thrasherville. A marker identified the location of Thrasherville at 104 Marietta
Street, N.W. in front of the State Bar of Georgia Building (between Spring and Cone Streets). At this spot,
Thrasher built up the Monroe Embankment or an, an earthen embankment that was to carry the Monroe
Railway to meet the W&A at the terminus. This is the oldest existing man-made structure in Downtown
Atlanta. The planned terminus location in 1842 was moved. There has been 4 blocks southeast (2-3 blocks
southeast of Five Points) to what would become State Square on Wall Street Central Avenue and Pryor
Street.
This location was the zero milepost, which can be found adjacent to the southern entrance of Underground
Atlanta. The settlement grew and it was called Terminus or end of the line. The settlement at Terminus
had six buildings and 30 residents by the end of 1842. At the same time, a settlement began, which would
be called Buckhead section of Atlanta existed several miles north of todays downtown. In 1838, Henry Irby
started a tavern and grocery at what would become the intersection of Paces Ferry and Roswell Roads. In
1842, there was a two story brick depot which was built. The locals wanted the settlement of Terminus to
be called Lumpkin, after Governor Wilson Lumpkin. Governor Lumpkin asked them to name it after his
young daughter instead. So, Terminus became Marthasville. In 1845, the chief engineer of the Georgia
Railroad named J. Edgar Thomson suggested that Marthasville be renamed "Atlantica-Pacifica", which was
quickly shortened to "Atlanta." The residents approved, apparently undaunted by the fact that not a single
train had yet visited. The town of Atlanta was incorporated in 1847.

The Antebellum Period


The antebellum period involved slavery, the growth of the railroad system, and other events. On September
1845, the first Georgia Railroad freight and passenger trains from Augusta (to the east of Atlanta). In that
same year, the first hotel called Atlanta Hotel was opened. In 1846, a second railroad company, the Macon &
Western completed tracks to Terminus/Atlanta, connecting the little settlement with Macon to the south and
Savannah to the southeast. The town then began to boom. In late 1846, the Washington Hall hotel was
opened. By 1847, the population had reached 2,500 people. The first mayor of Atlanta was elected in 1848.
The first homicide occurred and the first jail was built. A new city council approved the building wooden
sidewalks, banned conducting business on Sundays, appointed a town marshal. The Trout House was
Atlantas third and largest antebellum hotel was built. It was created in 1849. Atlantas first successful
newspaper was the Daily Intelligence. In 1850, Oakland Cemetery was founded southeast of town. It exists
today within the city limits now. The third rail line was formed in 1851. It was called the Western and Atlantic
Railroad. It connected Atlanta to Chattanooga in the northwest and it opened up Georgia to trade with the
Tennessee and Ohio River Valley including the Midwest. The place of State Square formed a union depot in
1853. The depots architect Edward A. Vincent also delivered Atlantas first official map to the city council.
Fulton County was created in 1853 from the western section of DeKalb and in 1854, a combination Fulton
County Court House and Atlanta City Hall was built (this was razed thirty years later to make way for the
present State Capitol building). After the Civil War, the Georgia General Assembly decided to move the state
capital from Milledgeville to Atlanta. In 1854, a fourth rail line, the Atlanta and LaGrange Rail Road (later

Atlanta) arrived, connecting Atlanta with LaGrange to the southwest, sealing Atlanta's role as a rail hub for
the entire South, with lines to the northwest, east, southeast, and southwest.
By 1855, the town had grown to 6,025 residents and had a bank, a daily newspaper, a factory to build freight
cars, a new brick depot, property taxes, a gasworks, gas street lights, a theater, a medical college, and
juvenile delinquency. In 1844, the first true manufacturing location established was opened. This was when
Jonathan Norcross built a sawmill. He would be the mayor of Atlanta as well. Richard Peters, Lemuel Grant,
John Mims built a three-story flour mill, which was used as a pistol factory during the Civil War. In 1848,
Austin Leyden started the town's first foundry and machine shop, which would later become the Atlanta
Machine Works. By 1858, the Atlanta Rolling Mill was built near Oakland Cemetery. It became the Souths
second most productive mill. During the U.S. Civil War, it rolled out cannon, iron rail, and a 2 inch thick (51
mm) sheets of iron to clad the CSS Virginia for the Confederate navy. The Union Army destroyed the mill in
1864. Atlanta became a big center of cotton distribution. The Georgia Railroad alone sent 3,000 empty
railcars to the city to be loaded with cotton. By 1860 the city had four large machine shops, two planning
mills, three tanneries, two shoe factories, a soap factory, and clothing factories employing 75 people.
Slavery in antebellum Atlanta was evil and brutal. In 1850, out of 2,572 people, 493 people were enslaved
African Americans. 18 were free black people for a total black population of 20 percent. The black proportion
of Atlantas population would be much higher after the Civil War. Many freed slaved came to Atlanta in
search of freedom, opportunity, and equality. There were many slave auction houses in the town. They were
advertised in newspapers and these places also traded in manufactured goods.

Atlanta during the Civil War


Atlanta has a huge history involving the Civil War. The Civil War started in 1861 with the Fort Sumter
incident (or when the Confederates attacked the Union location of Fort Sumter, which was an act of war by
the rebels). Back then, Atlanta had about 10,000 people. One-fifth of the people of Atlanta were slaves. It
was a massive railroad depots where 4 major railroads in the city traveled all over the South. In the spring
of 1861, Atlantans volunteered and formed the bulk of the 12 companies of infantry from Georgia. There
were causalities. There were almost dozen of Atlantans who were killed during the First Battle of Manassas
in Northern Virginia on July 21. The citys 2 newspapers were the Intelligencer and the Southern
Confederacy. Some of the major manufacturing facilities supporting the war effort in Atlanta were the
Atlanta Rolling Mill (it crated armor plating that was used for the Confederate Navy ironclads like CSS
Virginia. It also refurbished railroad tracks). The Confederate Pistol Factory made pistols. The Empire
Manufacturing Company made railroad cars and bar ion. Many hospitals in Atlanta tend to Confederate
soldiers like General Hospital, Distribution Hospital (on the southeast corner of Alabama and Pryor Streets),
the Atlanta Medical College (which was used a surgical hospital), etc. The Atlanta Medical College would be
later Emory University School of Medicine.
In early 1862, middle Tennessee was gained by the Union. People back then were already using Atlanta as
the Souths military medical center. As the Union advanced in Tennessee and Mississippi during the Civil
War, Atlanta became a city of refugees. That is why its population grew from 17,000 in mid-1862 to 20,000
in 1863. The hotels and boarding houses were overwhelmed as new comers took over vacant lots and train
cars. The city street signs came about in May 1863.

Atlanta was a large military supply center. There were commissary, quartermaster, and ordinance stores
warehoused all over the city. There were thousands of rounds produced in Atlanta every day. Martial law
was declared for only a month in August 1862. Many people feared Union spies in the city. The citizens who
were suspected of having Union sympathies were always threatened with arrest. In the spring of 1863, the
Union cavalry raided close to Rome or 60 miles northwest of Atlanta. Then, Atlanta mayor James M.
Calhoun and the city council called upon all able men to form volunteer militia companies of the
Confederacy. Policemen, firemen, railroaders, and ordnance workers formed companies in the
Confederacy. In addition to the fortifications surrounding Atlanta, the local militia was reorganized by Brig.
Gen. M. J. Wright during March 1864. The militia was "composed exclusively of detailed soldiers and
exempts, all those liable to conscription". The total strength was 534 men. The city formed rifle pits and
artillery forts all over the city. This was supported by Atlantas Lemuel P. Grant or the captain of the
Confederacys Engineer Bureau and senior engineer with headquarters in the city (Grant was contacted by
Chief of the Confederate Engineer Bureau Jeremy F. Gilmer). He surveyed the Chattahoochee River on May
22, 1863 to prepare to fortify the city of Atlanta. Gilmer gave Grant the approval to develop a plan to ring
Atlanta with forts and earthworks along the key approaches to the city. Gilmer advised that the earthen
forts should be connected by a line of rifle pits, with ditches, felled timbers or other obstruction to impede
an infantry charge. On July 4, 1863, the Union won the battle of Vicksburg. On September 1863,
Chattanooga, Tennessee was in Union hands in a victory. The Confederacy army made a retreat into north
Georgia. This was before General of the Union William T. Shermans campaign against Atlanta which
started in the spring of 1864. There were many contested battles in the region like the Battle of Peachtree
Creek, the Battle of Atlanta, the Battle of Ezra Church, and the Battle of Jonesboro.

It is also important to note that about 180,000 African American fought in the Civil
War and almost 40,000 black people died in the Civil War. A lot of Brothers and
Sisters sacrificed in order for us to be here today.
Then in the spring of 1864, the Confederate Army of Tennessee was commanded by General Joseph E.
Johnston. He was entrenched near the city of Dalton, Georgia. In May of 1864, the Union forces under the
command of Major General William T. Sherman began the Atlanta Campaign. By early July, the Confederate
forces were forced back to the outskirts of Atlanta. Both the Union and Confederate forces used the
Western & Atlantic Railroad to supply their troops. The Chattahoochee River divided the Union forces from

Atlanta by this time. So, by July 9, the federal forces secured 3 good crossings over the Chattahoochee River
(one at Powers' Ferry, a second at the mouth of Soap Creek and a third at the shallow ford near Roswell,
GA). The federal forces rested and moved troops around to prepare for their advance on the city of Atlanta
beginning on July 16. When General Sherman was close to Atlanta, its citizens were in alarm.
On July 18, 1864, General Joseph E. Johnston was relieved of command of the Confederate forces. General
John Bell Hood was given command of the Army of Tennessee. General Sherman issued Special Order 39,
detailing the Union advance on Atlanta on July 19, 1864. Union forces were over a wide front, so General
Hood executed an attack against the Union right at Peachtree Creek on July 20, 1864. They or the
Confederates were repulsed at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek. The Confederates were repulsed at the
Battle of Atlanta. During the Battle of Atlanta Union General James B. McPherson and Confederate General
William H. T. Walker were killed. General Sherman had now cut two of the four rail lines leading into
Atlanta. General Sherman wanted to cut the Confederate supply lines between West Point, GA and Atlanta.
So, he sent two of his Corps to protect his supply lines. The Confederates attacked on July 28, and were
repulsed in the Battle of Ezra Church. Even though the Union forces were victorious in the Battle of Ezra
Church, the Union forces failed to cut the rail line supplying Atlanta from west Point. On July 20, 1864,
Battery H, First Illinois Light Artillery commanded by Capt. Francis De Gress, came into battery near the
Troup Hurt Home. Capt. De Gress opened fire on downtown Atlanta from this point. The Ponder House in
Atlanta had Confederate sharpshooters until Union artillery bombed it. Atlanta was shelled from July 20 to
August 25, 1864.
By September 1, all of the supply lines were cut by the Union forces. General Hood was forced to abandon
Atlanta. He left with 81 rail cars filled with ammunition and other military supplies to be destroyed. On
September 2, Major General Slocum, in command of the XX Corp near the Chattahoochee River, sent
reconnaissance parties towards Atlanta. Mayor James M. Calhoun and several prominent citizens rode out
Marietta St. under a flag of truce to surrender the city of Atlanta to the Union Army. The mayor
encountered Col. John Coburn and formally surrenders the city to him. When General Slocum received
word that the confederates had evacuated Atlanta, he moved forward seven brigades to occupy Atlanta.
The Union occupation of Atlanta lasted from September 3 to November 15, 1864. On Sept. 7, General
Sherman established his headquarters in the two and one-half story home of John Neal (1796-1886)
located on Washington St. The mayor of Atlanta during the Civil War was James M. Calhoun.
Other Brigadier Generals of the Union occupied the homes of people in Atlanta. On September 1864,
General Sherman ordered the residents of Atlanta to evacuate. Sherman special order No. 67 called for the
evacuation of all citizens on September 8, 1864. Citizens had to register with Lt. Col. Le Duc the number of
adults, children, slaves, and a count of the number of packages or parcels they were taking with them. After
a plea by Father Thomas OReilly of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Sherman did not burn the
city's churches or hospitals. Yet, Sherman allowed the war resources to be destroyed by burning. Shermans
army destroyed the rail infrastructure in Atlanta too. General Sherman left Atlanta at 7:00 am. on
November 15. The fall of Atlanta was covered by Northern newspapers. It increased Northern morale in the
war. Abraham Lincoln was re-elected easily. It represented the beginning of the end of the Civil War in
essence. General Sherman would march from Atlanta to the Atlantic Ocean.

Reconstruction and the Growth of Black Education


Atlanta during the era of Reconstruction established long lasting changes that influence Atlanta today in
2015. In 1865, Reconstruction began. Slaves were freed and Atlanta University or Atlantas first black
college was founded. First, the Civil War caused Atlanta to be heavily destroyed. In the beginning of
Reconstruction, food supplies were erratic due to poor harvests. There was turmoil in the agricultural labor
supply. Many people were destitute. The Union army destroyed much of the housing stock. Along with the
new influx of more residents, this caused a housing shortage. 18-acre (510 m2) to 14-acre (1,000 m2) lots
with a small house rented for $5 per month, while those with a glass pane rented for $20. High rents rather
than laws led to de facto segregation, with most blacks settling in three shantytown areas at the city's edge.
There, housing was substandard; an AMA missionary remarked that many houses were "rickety shacks"
rented at inflated rates. Two of the three shantytowns sat in low-lying areas, prone to flooding and sewage
overflows, which resulted in outbreaks of disease in the late 19th century. A smallpox epidemic hit Atlanta
in December 1865 and there werent enough doctors or hospital facilities. Hundreds of human beings died
in another epidemic in the fall of 1866. The American Missionary Association or the AMA helped to provide
food, shelter, and clothing to human beings.
The federally-sponsored Freedmens Bureau helped people as well. One great positive of Reconstruction
was that black political power increased in America and that overt slavery was made illegal. Also, in 1865,
Atlanta City Council vowed equal protections for whites and blacks including a school for black children
(which was the first in the city as it opened in an old church building on Armstrong Street). The Methodist
Episcopal Churchs Freedman Aid Society founded a coeducational school for African American legislators
that would later become Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) in Atlanta. The widely anticipated

"forty acres and a mule" for former slaves stemmed from Union general William T. Sherman's Special Field
Order No. 15, issued from Savannah in January 1865. Under that order, federal authorities confiscated
"abandoned lands" along the coast and distributed them to freed slaves. This distribution proved
temporary, however, as most of the land was soon restored to its original owners. Nonetheless, some black
families were able to buy or lease land from the government.
In March 1867, the Radical Republicans in Congress passed the First Reconstruction Act. This placed the
South under military occupation. This meant that the military monitored the Southern states, because they
or the Southern states had to go into a process before they were brought back into the Union fully. Georgia
(like Alabama and Florida) was part of the Third Military District. This district was under the command of
General John Pope. Radical Republicans also passed an ironclad oath which prevented ex-Confederates
from voting or holding office, replacing them with a coalition of Freedmen, Carpetbaggers (who were
Northerners who recently traveled into the South), and Scalawags (these are white people in the South
who had more progressive views on race than overt white supremacists), including mostly former Whigs
who had opposed secession. As directed by Congress, General John Pope registered Georgias eligible white
and black voters. 95,214 white people were registered and 93,457 black people were registered. In
November 2, 1867, elections were held for delegates for a new constitutional convention. It was held in
Atlanta not in the old state capital of Milledgeville to prevent interference from ex-Confederates.
In January 1868, after Georgia's first elected governor after the end of the war, Charles Jenkins, refused to
authorize state funds for the racially integrated state constitutional convention, his government was
dissolved by Pope's successor General George Meade and replaced by a military governor. This action
caused white racists (via the Klan, etc. In Georgia, the Klan was headed by John Brown Gordon. He was a
General in Lees Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War) to further galvanize against
Reconstruction. In July of 1868, Georgia was readmitted to the Union. A newly elected General Assembly
ratified the Fourteenth Amendment. A Republican Governor Rufus Bullock, who was a New York native,
was inaugurated.

Tunis Campbell was a Black Republican who was a Union chaplain during the Civil War. He was a minister of
the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He was from New Jersey and moved into Georgia. Both
Henry McNeal Turner and Tunis Campbell were black men who were delegates to the constitutional
convention in 1867 and he was elected to the Georgia legislature in July 1868. In July, many racists held a
rally in Atlanta, Georgia to oppose Reconstruction (some of the speakers in that rally were the racists
Robert Toombs and Howell Cobb). In September 1868, white Republicans joined with the Democrats in
expelling the three black senators and twenty-five black representatives in the lower house from the
General Assembly (see E.C. Woolley, The Reconstruction of Georgia p. 94). A week later in the southwest
Georgia town of Camilla, white residents attacked a black Republican rally, killing twelve black people
(along with several whites being wounded). This was called the Camilla Massacre. These injustices caused
the expelled black legislators, led by Tunis Campbell and Henry McNeill Turner, to lobby for federal
intervention in Washington (to promote black human rights).
In March 1869 Governor Bullock, hoping to prolong Reconstruction, "engineered" the defeat of the
Fifteenth Amendment. The same month the U.S. Congress once again barred Georgia's representatives
from their seats, causing military rule to resume in December 1869. In January 1870, Gen. Alfred H. Terry,
the final commanding general of the Third District, purged the General Assembly's ex-Confederates,
replaced them with the Republican runners-up, and reinstated the expelled black legislators, creating a
large Republican majority in the legislature. U.S. Attorney General Amos T. Akerman (1821-1880) brought
thousands of indictments against Klansmen in an effort to enforce the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and the
Force Acts of 1870 and 1871. Akerman has a wild history. He was born in the North. He moved to Georgia.
He owned slaves and went into college. He fought for the Confederacy. During Reconstruction, he became
a Scalawag and spoke out for the civil rights of black people. As U.S. Attorney General under President
Ulysses Grant, he became the first ex-Confederate to reach the cabinet. Akerman was unafraid of the Klan
and committed to protecting the lives and civil rights of Blacks. President Grant sent in Secret Service
agents from the Justice Department to infiltrate the Klan to gather evidence for prosecution. The
investigations prove that many whites actively participated in Klan activities.

With this evidence, Grant issued a Presidential proclamation to disarm and remove the Klan's notorious
white robe and hood disguises. When the Klan ignored the proclamation, Grant was able to send in Federal
troops in nine South Carolina counties to put down the violent activities of the Klan. Grant teamed
Akerman up with another reformer in 1870, a native Kentuckian, the first Solicitor General Benjamin
Bristow, and the duo went on to prosecute thousands of Klan members and brought a brief quiet period of
two years in the turbulent Reconstruction era. On July 15, 1870, Georgia was the last Confederate state to
be readmitted to the Union. Racist whites called the Redeemers (made up of many conservative Georgia
Democrats) promoted segregation and discrimination. They used terrorism against African-Americans too.
The expelled African American legislators were particular targets for the Redeemers violence. African
American legislator Abram Colby was pulled out of his home by a mob and given 100 lashes with a whip. His
colleague Abram Turner was murdered. Other African American lawmakers were threatened and attacked
by the Redeemers.
For much of the Reconstruction era, from 1869 to 1877, the federal government assumed political control
of the former states of the Confederacy. Voters in the South elected more than 600 African American state
legislators and 16 members of Congress. Black and white citizens established several progressive state
governments that attempted to extend educational opportunities and civil and political rights to everyone.

FIRST BLACK MEMBERS of CONGRESS


During Reconstruction, there was a massive amount of African Americans coming into Atlanta (including its
adjoining areas) as a place of opportunity. According to the US Census and Slave Schedules, from 1860 to
1870 Fulton County more than doubled in population, from 14,427 to 33,336. The effects of AfricanAmerican migration can be seen by the increase in Fulton County from 20.5% enslaved African Americans in
1860 to 45.7% African-American residents in 1870. Black people in large numbers left the plantations and

the rural areas and came into towns in cities for work and other opportunities. Fulton was one of the many
counties in Georgia where African American population increased significantly in those years. As
Reconstruction came into existence, Atlanta grew rapidly. There were new jobs in construction and
employment boomed. From 1867 to 1888, U.S. Army soldiers occupied McPherson Barracks (later called
Fort McPherson) in southwest Atlanta to ensure Reconstruction era reforms. Reconstruction allowed the
13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to be passed, which were progressive legislation that was supported by
black people, progressive Radical Republicans (Radical Republicans opposed slavery, wanted harsh policies
for former Confederates, and wanted civil rights including voting rights for freedmen. They politically
fought President Andrew Johnson, who was a very racist male. In the 1866 elections, the Radical
Republicans had full control of Congress and they override Johnsons vetoes, which was a great thing), and
other human beings who loved liberty and freedom for all.
Also, black leaders were in legislative positions throughout the South during Reconstruction. Georgia's lone
black congressman of the era, Jefferson Franklin Long of Macon, served a brief term in 1870-71 and gave
the first speech by a black representative ever presented before Congress. He spoke against removing
restrictions on ex-Confederates holding office. Reconstruction ended in 1877. There was the disputed
presidential election of 1876. The Southern reactionaries and the Northern business community made the
1877 Compromise. This disgraceful compromise was about a deal made between the segregationist,
reactionary Democrats and the compromising Republicans. The deal was that there will be the removal of
federal troops from the South in exchange for the South to continue to advance anti-progressive Jim Crow
policies. After 1877, Jim Crow apartheid grew into the next level. It would take decades in order for overt
Jim Crow apartheid to end. Black Georgia voters were further disfranchised. The black member of the
General Assembly, W. H. Rogers, resigned in 1907. He would be the last black representative of the
Reconstruction era politics. Only until 1963 would when another black politician Leroy Jonson (a Democrat)
would enter the General Assembly with a black Republican Willie Talton of Warner Robins not following
until 2005. Sharecropping grew in Georgia too in during Jim Crow. Black education grew during
Reconstruction and beyond. Then and now, Atlanta is a center of black education.

Atlanta University was established in 1865, the forerunner of Morehouse College in 1867, Clark University
was created in 1869, what is now Spelman College in 1881, and Morris Brown College was established in
1885. This would be one of several factors aiding the establishment of African American infrastructure in
the States. Many middle class and upper class including some poor black people are in these Universities.
In the year of 1868, Atlanta would be the capital of Georgia. Horse-drawn streetcars appear which would
enable city expansion in 1871. Atlanta would be the largest city of Georgia and surpassed Savannah in
population by 1880.

Expansion
After Reconstruction (during the late 1870s), Atlanta changed massively. One editor of the Atlanta
Constitution back then called Atlanta the city of the New South. He meant that the city was evolving from
agriculture and slavery to a more diversified, economic city. Atlanta was one city which was modernizing
during this time period. For example, Grady and others supported the creation of the Georgia School of
Technology (which is now the Georgia Institute of Technology). It was founded in the citys northern
outskirts in 1885. Unfortunately, Grady supported the Confederate Soldiers Home in 1889. Georgia Tech
was created in Atlanta as well. In 1880, Sister Cecilia Carroll, RSM, and three companions traveled from
Savannah, Georgia to Atlanta to minister to the sick. With just 50 cents in their collective purse, the sisters
opened the Atlanta Hospital, the first medical facility in the city after the Civil War. This later became
known as Saint Joseph's Hospital. By 1871, the horse drawn street cars developed and later starting in
1888, electric streetcars fueled real estate development and the citys expansion. Wealthy residential areas
existed in Washington Street (south of downtown) and Peachtree Street (north of the central business
district) back then. West became the suburb of choice for the citys elite by the 1890s. Yet, Inman Park,
which was planned as a harmonious whole, soon overtook it in prestige. Peachtree Streets mansions
reached even further north into Midtown Atlanta. This was where Amos G. Rhodes mansion was located.
Rhodes was the founder of Rhodes Furniture Company in 1875 and his mansion (called Rhodes Hall) can be
visited now. By 1880, Atlanta surpassed Savannah as Georgias largest city. As Atlanta grew, ethnic and
racial tensions continued to grow. A small number of new European immigrants came into Atlanta by the
late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Jim Crow South


Black people were disenfranchised in Atlanta by white racists who used legislation and militias in violating
the human rights of black people. The white racists gained power not only in Atlanta, but nationwide. The
poll tax in Atlanta came about in 1877. A poll tax was when black people had to pay money or endure
unnecessary, invasive tests in trying to vote. By 1900, not even college educated black men could vote in
Atlanta. African Americans back then still formed their own businesses, other institutions, churches and a
strong, educated middle class. Atlanta during this time period was greatly involved in the Coca-Cola
Company. In 1886, John Pemberton developed the soft drink in response to Atlanta and Fulton County
going "dry." The first sales were at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta. Asa Griggs Candler acquired a stake in
Pemberton's company in 1887 and incorporated it as the Coca Cola Company in 1888. In 1892 Candler
incorporated a second company called The Coca-Cola Company, which is the current corporation. By the
time of its 50th anniversary, the drink had reached the status of a national icon in the USA. Coca-Cola's
world headquarters have remained in Atlanta ever since. In 1991 the company opened the World of CocaCola, which has remained one of the city's top visitor attractions. In 1895, the Cotton States and
International Exposition was held at what is now Piedmont Park.
There were almost 800,000 visitors at the event. The exposition was established in order for people to
promote the region to the world. They wanted to show the world about new technologies and products.
They also wanted to encourage trade with Latin America. The exposition featured exhibits from several
states including various innovations in agriculture and technology. President Grover Cleveland presided
over the opening of the exposition. But the event is best remembered for the both hailed and criticized
"Atlanta Compromise" speech given by Booker T. Washington. That speech was made by Booker T.
Washington in which he said that black people should have equality by using industry, hard work, etc. He
secretly fought segregation later on in his life, he wanted economic development in the black community,
and the Atlanta Compromise was a compromise. Washington wanted Southern white leaders to make sure
that black people would have education and due process of law while he wanted black people to not
agitate for immediate social justice. In other words, he wanted to show the Southern whites that black
people were very loyal to America while he said that progress could never exist while black people were
mistreated of their human rights. Washington had founded Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in

black belt Alabama. He or Booker T. Washington (who have financially allied with large capitalist interests)
via his Atlanta Compromise speech wanted black people to work in the midst of the tyranny of the white
political elite while Southern whites would be required to allow black people to get basic educational and
economic opportunities. That is not what I agree with since power concedes nothing without a demand and
liberation is caused by ending oppression without compromise.
Also, we can never accommodate anything to the oppressor. We fight the evil agenda of the oppressor and
that's how freedom comes about. In his Atlanta address of 1895, he railed against immigrants with the
following words: To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange
tongue and habits for the prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what I say to my own
race, cast down your bucket where you are." Washington never wanted to openly antagonize white
Southerners (since he felt that using a step by step gradual approach will cause black people to have justice
and freedom in the long term), but we have to agitate for freedom now despite the sensibilities of others.
His views on economic issues were blatantly pro-capitalist, self-help (or "pull yourself by your own
bootstrap" mantra), pro- entrepreneurship, etc.
A lot of the words that you have heard from Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and Marcus Garvey have a
great influence from Booker T. Washington. Some black people to this very day call Booker T. Washington a
traitor and others call him a hero. When I was growing up, many called him many names. The truth has
more nuisances. Even though Booker T. Washington was wrong in refusing to fight for immediate social
justice ASAP, he wasnt wrong in everything that he said. He was right in wanting education, agriculture,
etc. in the black community, but we need more than just education. We need economic and social justice
too. In other words, we have to do both (we have to gain the economic power base, the industry, and we
have to promote progressive views of tolerance, of egalitarianism, and of revolutionary change for the
proletariat including the poor. We must fight back via political agitation). So, while Washington and DuBois
had disagreements, they both agreed that education is key in improving the conditions of African
Americans. We all agree on that principle. I can't support Booker T. Washington's accommodating views or
him fighting against the 1908 Alabama coal miners strike. We have to use political agitation for justice and
we have to grow education. There must be a radical redistribution of political and economic power, so all
people can have true liberation.

The Great Atlanta Fire of 1917


There was the great Atlanta Fire of 1917. It happened after noon on May 21, 1917 in the Old Fourth Ward
of Atlanta. No one knows conclusively how the fire started, but it was fueled by hot temperatures and
strong winds that propelled the fire. The fire burned for almost 10 hours. It destroyed 300 acres of land.
1,900 structures were displaced. Over 10,000 people were displaced. There was $5 million dollars in
damages (or $92 million today when adjusted for inflation). Before the fire, the day was runny and warm.
The first small fire was at Candler Warehouse across the tracks from West End at 11:39 AM; at 11:43 a fire
seven blocks north that destroyed three houses; and at 12:15, south of the Georgia Railroad from the big
fire, ten homes were destroyed before being extinguished. At 12:46 a call came from a small warehouse
just north of Decatur Street between Fort and Hilliard. The crew sent to inspect it found a stack of burning
mattresses, but had no firefighting equipment with them. If the fire department had not been spread
across so many different parts of the city already, and the fire would have been put out there. Yet, by the
time reinforcements arrived, it was quickly leaping north. The fire spread quickly.
It went up to Edgewood Avenue and from there into the main residential areas of Sweet Auburn where
little was spared. There were the area between Decatur and Edgewood filled with shanties and lean-tos.
This caused the fire to be fueled more. Another corridor was burned due north between Jackson (or
Parkway and Charles Allen today) and Boulevard. The fire spared John Wesley Dobbs block. Many homes
were burned. Firefighters in 4:00 in the afternoon used dynamite to destroy many homes (along Pine,
Boulevard, and finally Ponce de Leon) as a way to stall the fire. By nightfall the fire crossed Ponce de Leon.
While reduced, it headed north through the recently built-out neighborhood along St. Charles, Vedado Way
and Greenwood Avenue. It finally stopped at 10 PM, more than 1 mile (1.6 km) north of where it began. In
11 hours, 22,000,000 US gallons (83,000,000 l; 18,000,000 imp gal) of water were pumped to put out the
fire. Additional fire trucks had been sent from nine Georgia towns (as far away as Macon and Augusta), as
well as from Chattanooga and Knoxville in Tennessee. 1,938 buildings were destroyed over 300 acres (1.2
km2) spanning 73 city blocks. Fires smoldered for the rest of the week. Wood shingles were burned which
made up more than 85% of the destroyed buildings. So, the city of Atlanta passed an ordinance banning

wood shingles to be used for new construction. By 1931, all older buildings had replaced the wood shingles.
Only Shermans fire of 1864 was worst in Atlanta. Rebuilding was sporadic. There were large swaths of land
kept open for years. There were commercial strips and apartments buildings being built. Also, low income
housing developments were built in the extreme southern section and the areas south of North Avenue.
Some 50 acres (200,000 m2) around Boulevard and Highland were eventually developed as the campus for
Atlanta Medical Center. Except for where single family homes were quickly rebuilt north of Ponce de Leon,
the character of this large area of Atlanta was changed forever.

Early 20th Century Events


The Atlanta race riot of 1906 was a key part of the history of Atlanta. It happened from September 22-24,
1906. First, it is time to show the causes of the riot. Atlanta during the 1880s has grown massively. Race
relations in Atlanta back then (before the riot started) were better as compared to other Southern cities. It
had become a regional economic power of the South. The city grew from 89,000 people to 150,000 in 1910.
The black population grew from 9,000 people in 1880 to 35,000. Black men in Atlanta could vote. This
political power caused more black people to be involved in the political realm. Black people in Atlanta
during Reconstruction and beyond created businesses, more social networks, and built communities. There
was a black elite who acquired more wealth, education, and prestige. Some of them distanced themselves
from the black working class and especially the unemployed black people who were in the saloons on
Atlantas Decatur Street. African-American women were also quite active in Atlanta. Many joined African
American women joined womens clubs. Most of these clubs were related or affiliated with the National
Association of Colored Women. This organization was the dominant black women's organization in
America. Women took it upon themselves to provide community services to poor black human beings. The
men's organizations invested their energy into building social and fraternal organizations that worked for
community betterment.
Many whites were jealous of the advances of the black elite. They opposed the saloons as a pretext to try
to harm the rights of black people. The political elites exploited the job completion among black and white
workers. There were class distinctions between the rich, middle class, and poor residents of Atlanta. The

citys white political leaders wanted to promote more restrictions of the growing working class. These white
political leaders exploited racial issues as a way to scapegoat black people for every problem in Atlanta back
then. These racists feared the social intermingling of the ethnic groups. So, Jim Crow expanded to separate
white and black neighborhoods and separate seating areas for public transportation.
The governors race in 1906 had 2 white supremacist candidates running. Their names were Hoke Smith (or
the former publisher of the Atlanta Journal) and Clark Howell (the editor of the Atlanta Constitution). They
used the newspapers to sway public opinion. Smith inflamed racism by wanting black people to be docile.
Smith opposed the economic and social equality of black people. Howell said that he wanted a poll tax to
limited black voting. Howell said that Smith was not a bigger racist than he was. Both of those evil people
were racists. The Atlanta Georgia and the Atlanta News newspapers made the slander that massive
amounts of black men were raping white women. This angered many white readers. These newspapers also
scapegoated black people with stories, editorials, and cartoon portraying black people as rapists,
murderers, and other evil, vicious stereotypes. This provocation influenced whites to use mob to use
violence against innocent black people. On the afternoon of Saturday, September 22, Atlanta newspaper
falsely reported four alleged assaults on local white women. City leaders, including Mayor James G.
Woodward, sought to calm the increasingly indignant crowds but failed to do so.
By early evening, the crowd had become a mob; from then until after midnight, they surged down Decatur
Street, Pryor Street, Central Avenue, and throughout the central business district. On Saturday, September
22, white crowds along Decatur Street, many of them drunk and inflamed by the headlines, began to
gather. Someone shouted, "Kill the n____s," and soon the cry was running along the crowded streets. Some
10,000 men and boys in the mob began to search for African Americans. This white racist mob attacked
black owned businesses, smashed windows of the black leader Alonzo Herndons barbershop. Many
barbers were killed. The racists attacked streetcars. They entered trolley cars and beat black men and black
women. At least 3 men were beaten to death. A heavy rain came in 2 am. Later, the state militia came in to
control Atlanta. On Sunday, September 23, the state militia continued to stay in Atlanta. The militia
patrolled the streets and key landmarks. They guarded white owned property. White vigilante groups still
invaded some black neighborhoods. Black people obtained weapons to defend themselves. Many African
Americans defended their homes from white racists. Ironically, a white man saw the riots as a boy. His
name was Walter White and he became a secretary of the NAACP. On Monday, September 24, a group of
African Americans held a meeting in Brownsville, a community located about two miles south of downtown
Atlanta and home to the historically black Clark College (later Clark Atlanta University) and Gammon
Theological Seminary. The blacks were heavily armed. The black people have every right to have a meeting
when their homes were being destroyed and their people were being killed. When Fulton County police
learned of the gathering, they feared a counterattack and launched a raid on Brownsville. A shootout
ensued and an officer was killed. In response, three companies of heavily armed militia were sent to
Brownsville, where they seized weapons and arrested more than 250 African American men. Meanwhile,
sporadic fighting continued throughout the day.

On Monday and Tuesday, businessmen, clergy, and the press called for an end to the violence. They didnt
do this for morality sake or the sake of causing revolutionary change. They did for the sake of maintaining
Atlantas image as a thriving "New South" city. The riot exposed the truth that a massive amount of racism
and classism still existed in Atlanta. The riot has been covered nationwide and internationally. Le Petit
Journal reported on the riots. White civic leaders wanted a dialogue with black elites. This was rare since

such a dialogue would rarely happen, especially during this time period. So, they had a dialogue. One group
promoting racial reconciliation and understanding was called the Commission on Interracial Cooperation
from 1918. It later was named the Southern Regional Council. The issue was that this interracial
cooperation didnt address the black social divisions based on class. Many black elites back then wanted to
distance from its lower class Brothers and Sisters. This classist mentality exists readily today. Also, black
people (regardless of class) are the victims of racism/white supremacy. So, I want to make that perfectly
clear. No one of any class should suffer racism or oppression.
Atlanta continued to be segregated and socially stratified based on class. The events caused the black
community in Atlanta to be retrenched. African Americans were more likely to live in settled black
communities. These communities were mostly found in the west of the city near Atlanta University or in
eastern downtown. Black businesses were dispersed to the east where a thriving black business district
soon developed. Its businesses and residences to grow, but there were statewide prohibition and black
suffrage restriction in 1908, which was caused by white racists. This event refuted the accomodationist
strategy of Booker T. Washington (who was right on many issues to his credit like promoting education for
black people, but you know I disagree with his advocacy of capitalism. I disagree with his Atlanta
Compromise speech). Militant activism is needed for black people to be free. W.E.B. DuBois lived in Atlanta
during that time and he had a shotgun to defend his home during the riot. He wrote a powerful poem
called, "The Litany of Atlanta." The riot at least killed 10 black people (some say that as high as over 20
black people were killed) and 2 whites. Still, black people continued to fight for justice then and now.

The WWII period


World War II has a long history in Atlanta. First, the Great Depression started in 1929. It damaged the
economic security of human beings all over America and throughout the world. Many cities in the South
were poorly prepared to handle the emergency. In 1930, Atlanta was the least rank among similar sized
cities in terms of per capita expenditures for welfare. In Atlanta back then, there were very few municipal
agencies or programs in placed to help the rapidly growing number of unemployed people. President
Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated in the early 1930s. He passed New Deal legislation and programs in
order to fight back against the Great Depression. Atlanta was one of the first cities in the nation to receive a

federally operated relief program. The strength of the New Deal is that it saved lives, gave jobs to people,
and improved society in many ways. There were agencies like the Civil Works Administration, the Public
Works Administration, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) pumped millions of dollars into
Atlanta projects and employed thousands of city residents in the process. Projects undertaken by these
agencies included the building and repair of area schools, hospitals, gymnasiums, and other public
institutions; the grading of runways at the city's airport, Candler Field; the organization of a forty-fivemember symphony orchestra; the repair and touchup of the Cyclorama, a 358-foot-in-circumference mural
depicting the Civil War Battle of Atlanta; and the construction of a new sewer system. The weakness of the
New Deal is that the New Deal readily discriminated against black people and people of color. Many
soldiers from across the Southeast of America went through Atlanta and later were discharged at Fort
McPherson.
There was war related manufacturing like Bell Aircraft factory in the suburb of Marietta. Manufacturing
jobs helped to increase the citys population and economy. There was the housing project for whites
created in 1935 called Techwood Homes. In 1938, University Homes for African Americans was opened in
1938. Charles F. Palmer was involved in these projects in order for him to replace slums with federal funded
public housing. Charles was an Atlanta real estate developer. The public housing was also involved in
lobbying by John Hope, who was the President of Atlanta University. The Great Depression decreased in its
severity in Atlanta by the late 1930s. The federal government trimmed the WPA workers in the city. Private
businesses was picking up. The banks were in operation. Atlanta developed its aviation industry more.
World War II and the industrial development grew Atlanta into the next level in terms of its industrial
powerbase. It transformed the city into a more international city. During the events of World War II, the
federal government invested more than 10 billion dollars in the South via war industries and military bases
in the South.
There were investments in public housing, health care facilities, aid to schools near military facilities, etc.
Many black people, white people, men and women worked in the armed forces and other war related
industries. Many soldiers were stationed in Atlanta during this time like Fort McPherson, Fort Gillem, the
Naval Air Station, and the Army Hospital including the Airfield. Many African Americans and women worked
in Bell Bomber (which was a factory). Coca-Cola distributed Cokes to servicemen and women all over the
world during WWII. Back then, Eugene Talmadge was Governor of Georgia. He was a reactionary. Ellis
Arnall replaced him in 1943. He balanced the budget, increased educational spending, and managed the
state economic recovery. The NAACP increased voter turnout in Georgia via its voter leagues. Henry
McAllister was a black American veteran of World War II. By the time of 1946 gubernatorial contest, more
than 100,000 Georgians were registered to vote. Shortly after the war in 1946, the Communicable Disease
Center, later called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was founded in Atlanta from the
old Malaria Control in War Areas offices and staff.

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays - minister, educator, scholar, social activist and the president of Morehouse
College in Atlanta, Georgia from 1940 to 1967.
The Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta
1940-1949
The civil rights movement in Atlanta has a long history. From 1940 to 1949, there was the era of gradualism
and negotiation. African Americans in Atlanta were fight against lynching, voter disfranchisement, racism,
discrimination, poverty, police brutality and other evils. Many black people during the 1940s were apathetic,
but many African American people and black organizations fought for voting rights. Black civil rights leaders
back then fought back against oppression. Back in 1940, there were no black police officers in Atlanta. Only
5 percent of Atlantas black citizens were registered to vote, but African Americans were 30 percent of
Atlantas population. John Wesley Dobbs was a Brother in Atlanta who fought for the voting rights in Atlanta.
Black men were allowed the right to vote in the 14th and 15th Amendments. Women would not be allowed
the right to vote nationally until 1920 when the 19th Amendment was passed. Atlanta created its poll tax in
1877. The 1908 state constitutional amendment added more literary tests and other citizenship
requirements. These bad, reactionary policies were advanced by the Georgia Democratic policy. Hundreds of
people, who were black men, women, and children, were lynched in Georgia from 1882 to 1968. Jim Crow
was pervasive in Atlanta. The Klan, the Columbians, and other hate groups oppressed black people and even
killed many black people. This terror caused some black people to be apathetic. Rev. A. D. Williams or the
grandfather of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the head of the NAACP. He, Lugenia Burns Hope (a community
organizer and educator), Charles L. Harper (an educator), Atlanta Independent newspaper editor Benjamin
Davis worked together. They used black voting power to force Atlanta to create Atlantas first black public
secondary school, which is called Booker T. Washington High School. Black people voted to defeat a bond
for education which would have harmed black schools in the city. Black citizens were defended by Lugenia
Burns Hopes Neighborhood Union and Frankie V. Adams in the Atlanta University School of Social Work.

The Auburn Avenue black community of Atlanta was filled with black women and black women who worked
hard for black people. This community and other organizations like Atlanta University, Atlanta Urban,
League, womens club, etc. used voter education and voter registration drives in the 1940s. Grace Town
Hamilton was the executive director of the Atlanta Urban League. She worked in voting efforts too. The 1944
Smith v. Alright Supreme Court decision said that white primaries were unconstitutional and the 1946
decision of Primus King v. State of Georgia called Georgias white primary unconstitutional. The All Citizens
Registration Committee or the ACRC was made up of black leader to fight for voting rights. Clarence Bacote
headed it. He was Atlanta Universitys history professor. Narvie Harris and other activists fought back. The
black voters voted for Helen Douglas Mankin in 1946. She spoke with the black community. This represented
the era of gradualism and negotiation. The Klan and other racists used revenge over this development by
lynching black people. There was massive police brutality. Many members of the Atlanta police were
members of the Klan. So, the United Negro Veterans in 1945 marched from Ebenezer Baptist Church on
Auburn Avenue to Atlanta City Hall. They bargained with Mayor William Hartsfield. He refused to do so in
1945 saying he wanted 10,000 voters from black people would be needed. Soon, the Mayor allowed eight
African American police officers to be hired in 1948. These new black police officers would not arrest white
people. They worked in Butler Street YMCA. This is a gradual stage of the Atlanta civil rights movement.

1950-1959
The era of 1950 to 1959 outlined a fight by white racists against social change. This was during the
McCarthyism era and the NAACP was slandered by white racists as a communist group. Groups like the
NAACP, the Southern Regional Council, and the Southern Conference Education Fund wanted to increase
the black voter strength. In 1951, Mayor Hartsfield welcomes the NAACP convention in Atlanta. Yet, the
State Attorney General Marvin Griffin (under the white supremacist racist Governor Herman Talmadge)
invested the NAACP. Griffin was Governor in 1955. NAACP president of the Atlanta chapter John Calhoun
was sentenced for a year in prison after refusing to give the State Revenue Commissioner access to the
organizations financial records. The NAACP legally challenged school segregation in the courts. Morehouse
College President Benjamin Mays publicly wanted to fight back against Talmadge. He didnt want to run
away. Mays wanted to fight injustice. The legal challenges to segregated schools in Atlanta started in 1950
(the NAACP filed a feral lawsuit on behalf of 200 African Americans. Back then, the Atlanta Board of
Educated allowed inequalities in black and white schools). Mays was involved in the legal challenge. The
historic 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruled that segregated public
schools was unconstitutional. The decision was opposed by racists. Many racists closed down public schools
for years instead of enforcing the Supreme Court decision. Talmadge opposed the decision. He increased

funding for public schools during his administration by 310 percent, but he did it to promote segregated
public schools. Governor Marvin Griffin later wanted people to be charged with a felony if a state or local
official use tax money on an integrated school. Governor Vandiver in the 1960s had no choice but to
submit to the Supreme Court ruling. Many black leaders initially didnt support the Brown decision. Yet,
many African Americans like Alfred Holmes fought to desegregate other places like the all-white city golf
courses. There was the fight to increased residential communities for black people in Atlanta since the
black population was crowded into certain neighborhoods of Atlanta.
The black population was growing quickly. Many African American families were threaten, assaulted home
bombed, and cross buildings happened if they lived into or near white communities. Grace Town Hamilton
used the TCCH (or the Temporary Coordinating Committee on Housing) to fight for social change. This
group wanted more land to be opened up for black communities. The biracial, but most mostly white
WSMDC (or the West Side Mutual Development Committee) created a method to increase black residential
areas in existing communities on the west side. They wanted to decrease racial tensions. Many black
families were in Mozley Park too. There were continued bombings of black homes in Atlanta. The bombing
of the Temple on Peachtree Street made more people aware that white racists were anti-Semitic too. The
Temple was the major Jewish synagogue in Atlanta. The media reported on the news. The Temples Rabbi
Jacob Rothchild publicly supported integration. The desegregation of public transportation happened in
Atlanta, Birmingham Alabama, and in other cities of America.

Dr. Martin Luther King rose into prominence in Atlanta and in Birmingham with the Montgomery Bus
Boycott. 100 Atlanta black ministers fought for desegregation of local public transportation in 1957 in
Atlanta. This was part of the Law, Love, and Liberation movement. Rev. Williams Holmes Borders of the
Wheat Street Baptist Church on Auburn Street was one of the six protesters. He was one of Dr. Kings role
models. Ministers were arrested on state charges. Head of the citys NAACP chapter Rev. Samuel Williams
filed suit in federal court. He and others wanted to desegregate Atlantas buses and trolley. They won this
battle when in 2 years later; Atlantas public transportation was no segregated anymore legally. The SCLC
was created in Atlanta by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Rev. Ralph David
Abernathy, and Bayard Rustin. SCLC stands for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. SCLC was
involved in desegregation efforts in America. They were more liberal than the NAACP in terms of tactics.
They wanted nonviolent demonstrations. In 1959, Dr. King would return to Atlanta from Montgomery. The
tactics of gradualism would end and the actions of direct action would come about.

The Freedom Riders Coordinating Committee was established in Atlanta, Ga (May 26, 1963). A face you
might recognize (from his younger days) that was a member of that committee was Julian Bond. Ella
Josephine Baker (Dec. 13, 1903 Dec. 13, 1986) was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Baker
co-founded the organization In Friendship to raise money to fight against Jim Crow Laws in the deep South.
In 1957, Baker moved to Atlanta to help organize Martin Luther Kings new organization, the SCLC. Baker
organized a meeting at Shaw University for the student leaders of the sit-ins in April 1960. From that
meeting, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee SNCC was born.

Black people are strong and resilient.


1960-1965
The time of 1960-1965 to scholars has been called the golden era of the civil rights movement. This time
allowed the younger generation to rise up in a higher level to fight for equality. People in Atlanta were
passing the torch from the old guard to the new generation of activists. These new activists included SNCC
or the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. SNCC was created in April 1960 at Shaw University in
Raleigh, North Carolina. SCLCs Executive Director Ella Jo Baker provided the inspiration for SNCC. SNCC
focused on grassroots, democratic organization (including direct action like civil disobedience). This was
different than the NAACP back then who focused mainly on legal challenges, voter registration, and more
moderate efforts. This time period had activists using direct action to confront segregation. The student
movement in Atlanta was huge. The old school people had disagreements with SNCC, but they were unified
in the same goal of justice for all. The desegregation of businesses, health care facilities, housing, etc. in
Atlanta continued. Group centered leadership was part of the young activists credo. During this time,
power was shifted from Atlanta University Center or the AUC and Auburn Avenue to the city HBCUs (or the
Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

Many of the young activists who worked in Atlanta were Julian Bond, Lonnie King, Herschelle Sullivan, Carol
Long, and Ruby Doris Smith. There were some white activists who were in favor of civil rights too like
Frances Pauley, Lillian Smith (who was a Georgia novelist), and others. The sit in movement started in the
modern era in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina. This civil disobedience movement spread nationwide.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault is one of the two first University of Georgia students who are
African Americans. She is a journalist and a heroine.
On October 14-16, 1960, SNCC held its first mass sit in in Atlanta (in lunch counters of Richs Department
Stores and in seven other Atlanta department stores). The students fought for change. Many of them were
arrested. They got advice from many local community leaders. These leaders were Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr., Rev. Samuel Williams AUC professors (like Robert Brisbane, Howard Zinn, etc.), Whitney Young, Jesse
Hill, Leroy Johnson, etc. This sit in was an act of direct action. This was a fight for human rights. Mayor
Hartsfield wanted to promote the image of Atlanta of being more progressive on race relations, but that
wasnt the case. Dr. King was arrested during the 1960 election. Coretta Scott King was scared for his life, so
she spoke with then candidate John F. Kennedy on the phone. JFK and Bobby Kennedy worked with the
authorities to get Dr. King out of jail. This caused more support of black people to vote for Kennedy than
Nixon. COARH, SNCC, and the SCLC worked to fight for justice. In Atlanta, activists fought for the
implementation of desegregation in Atlanta. Governor Ernest Vandiver still wanted Jim Crow. The NAACP,
HOPE (Help Our Public Education), and the biracial coalition of organizations Assisting Schools (OASIS)
worked together to help end segregation in public schools of Atlanta. In early 1961, the University of
Atlanta was integrated by Atlantans Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Jones. Grady Hospital was
desegregated in the early 1960s too.

This is a portrait of a group of American Civil Rights leaders, gathered on the campus
of Atlanta University (later renamed Clark Atlanta University) to discuss 'sit-in'
protests in Atlanta, Georgia during mid-May, 1960. From left, top row: Bernard Lee
(1935 1991), Dave Forbes, Henry Thomas, Lonnie C. King Jr, James Lawson; middle
row: Virginuis Thornton, Reverand Wyatt Tee Walker, Martin Luther King Jr (1929 1968), Michael Penn; and bottom row: Clarence Mitchell, Marion Barry (1936-2014).

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.is with his son Dexter and this picture to the right shows the
image of Sister Coretta Scott King in 1967
COAHR and the NAACP worked with many African American health professionals like physicians Asa Yancey
and dentists Roy Bell to integrate hospitals. The Citizenship Education Program or the CEP worked to give
voter registration to black people. Highlander Folk School was one place where the CEP existed in
Tennessee with people like Septima Clark, Bernice Robinson, and Esau Jenkins. The SCLC and CEP worked in
many community organizations. They worked together to promote black history, literacy, and voting rights.
The 1963 March on Washington, the 1964 Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, NJ (which SNCC was
prevented to have true representation in the Convention for its delegates in the Mississippi Freedom
Democratic Party), and the Selma voting rights campaign involved civil rights activists from Atlanta and
from other locations nationwide. John Lewis was the national director of SNCC at the time. In September
15, 1963, racists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four young African
American girls died in the bombing. The Selma march included Atlantans like Hosea Williams of SCLC and
Worth Long of SNCC including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Protesters in Selma were attacked by police
officers. This violence by racists would continue. After Selma, a new era of the Black freedom Struggle
would exist. It would involve the era of Black Power.

These human beings are members of SNCC discussing about issues and standing
up for the human rights of black people.
1966-1975
Atlanta in 1966 changed. The Black Power movement rose up in the high level in 1966. This movement was
a rejection of using nonviolence alone in solving problems. It was a revolutionary evolution in the black
freedom movement. It appealed to the youth heavily since the youth viewed the reforms as going too slow
in America back then and they wanted more radical change. The movement came in the midst of the
rebellions from 1964 to 1968. Black Power was diverse with more progressive elements (that focused on
not only black solidarity, but on anti-imperialism especially being anti-Vietnam War, and opposing
capitalism. This is exemplified in the Black Panther Party movement) and the more conservative elements
(which has been called black capitalism or cultural nationalism by some. This faction wanted to focus on
African culture and history while minimizing involvement in political activism. This faction also dealt with
the growth of black businesses and wanting a "piece of the pie"). Some Black Power activists courageously
stood up for freedom. Some members of this movement were co-opted like some became Republicans and
the Ford Foundation funded many people to promote electoral politics. During the late 1960s and the early
1970s, radical increases of black people were elected in Congress, local and state governmental offices,
even among some former grassroots activists. The SCLC during this time worked in inner city
neighborhoods of Atlanta and throughout America.

She is Sister Ella Mae Brayboy, who fought for voting rights in Atlanta, Georgia.
During the 1960s alone, she has registered 10,000 black voters.
SNCC evolved and became more involved in the Black Power movement. Later, many whites left SNCC.
SNCC promoted the Atlanta Project. The Atlanta Project wanted black people to have community control
and promote economic opportunities including electoral power in the hands of the people of Atlanta.
Community organizer Ella Mae Brayboy fought to help empower women in Atlanta too. There is the Voter
Education Project and the Citizenship Education Program which dealt with voting rights, activism, and black
history programs. Rebellions happened in Dixie Hills and the Summerhill communities. Black youth were
frustrated at the slow pace of the movement in their perspective. The Atlanta Project has a Pan-African
view. This project wanted all people of African descent worldwide to come together can make a positive
change. SCLC wanted economic justice, etc. and they were in favor of integration. Numerous SNCC
members soon distanced themselves from mainstream integration while they didnt want segregation
either. By the 1960s, SNCC leaders wanted black people to run the freedom movement while desiring
whites to come into their communities to educate whites on racial justice.
Kwame Ture and Atlantan Willie Ricks wanted Black Power as they said it during their 1966 March Against
Fear from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took a nuisance view of
Black power. He acknowledged the positives of Black Power like self-determination, love of Blackness, and
standing up for economic including political power. Yet, Dr. King rejected separatism. In essence, the
Atlanta Project wanted the community to control their resources and power. When the Atlanta Project was
perceived as too separatist, national director Kwame Ture fired or suspended the Atlanta Project staff.
Ironically, Kwame would be a strong pro-Pan-Africanist from the 1960s to the day of his death in 1998. In
1965, 11 African Americans won the election to the Georgia legislature. In 1965, the first African American
being elected to Atlanta Board of Alderman was the businessman Q. V. Williamson. So, political power in
Atlanta grew for black people. Yet, there was a tragedy that came later. It would be the unjust assassination
of Brother Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who was born in Atlanta, Georgia) was assassinated in April 4, 1968. Afterwards,
there were questions on how to go forward (as in the black freedom movement). Black people continued to
fight for political, social, and economic justice. In 1968, Sister Coretta Scott King started the Center for
Nonviolence Social Change. This was created to continue with the movement and advance nonviolence as a
legitimate action of social change in the world. Many people like Abernathy lead the SCLC including other
veterans of the movement. SCLC continued with Rev. Joseph Lowery and Rev. C.T. Vivian. The SCLC would
continue to promote human rights. There were other changes too. There was the Governor of Lester
Maddox of Governor, who was Governor from 1967 to 1971. He was a known segregationist and white
supremacists supported him. Maddox was a right wing conservative. The new Governor Jimmy Carter
existed as Governor from 1971 to 1975. This was historic since he was a more moderate/liberal man. He
wanted to improve racial relations in the state of Governor. Ironically, Jimmy Carter would act more
progressive after his Presidency. So, this time period was a transitional period of Atlantas history.

New Political Power


Maynard Jackson is the first black mayor of Atlanta. He lived a historic life. To outline his life, we have to
start in the beginning. He was born in Dallas, Texas in March 23, 1938. His grandfather was civil rights
leader John Wesley Dobbs. His mother was Irene Dobbs Jackson, who was a professor of French at Spelman
College in Atlanta. Jackson graduated from Morehouse College in 1956 when he was 18 years old. He went
to law school. He ran against Herman Talmadge for the U.S. Senate in 1968. He was 30 years old. He lost,
but he carried Atlanta in the race. In 1969, he was elected vice mayor. He was the presiding officer of the
board of alderman. In 1970, Maynard Jackson supported Atlanta strikers involving in sanitation workers. He
opposed then Mayor Sam Massells actions in 1970 of firing workers and using prisoners from city jails for
garbage removal. The 1970 Atlanta strike was successful. Previous mayors like Williams B. Hartsfield and
Ivan Allen Jr. used a coalition of black people and liberal/moderate whites in order to win elections.
Maynard Jackson used the same political strategy. Sam Massell was mayor during the early 1970s. By
1973, Jackson won the election with great African American support, especially because of Maynard's
expression of solidarity with the Atlanta sanitation strikers. He won after the runoff election. So, in 1973
Maynard Jackson became the first black American mayor of large southern city. His support of Atlanta
striking workers in 1970 influenced his victory. He caused more minority businesses to get more municipal
contracts. He helped to build the massive new terminal at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport with
great minority participation. By 2003, the airports name was changed to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
International Airport in Jackson honor. Jackson increased affirmative action, public involvement in
neighborhood planning, etc. There was a temporarily rift between the mayor and much of the white
business community in Atlanta.
Jackson helped to bring more black people in positions from police officers, etc. By 1977, the second
Atlanta sanitation strike would be opposed by Maynard Jackson, which was wrong on his part. The business
community supported the mayor. Many strikers this time were jailed and were opposed by the citys own
mayor. The sanitation workers were strong, but their strike failed. This time showed how even mayoral

leaders would collaborate with the establishment in ending strikes. He lived during the 1979 to 1981
Atlanta child murders. This was when children were killed by an evil, sick person. One person has been
jailed, tried, and convicted. To this very day, the convicted man denies involvement in the murders.
Atlantas crime rates increased during the 1970s. He also fought against the construction of freeways
through in town neighborhoods. He would be mayor of Atlanta again from 1990 to 1994. Maynard Jackson
Jackson died in Washington, D.C., of a heart attack on June 23, 2003. He lay in state at city hall and at
Morehouse College, and the memorial service at the Atlanta Civic Center drew more than 5,000 mourners.
Therefore, his legacy is filled with legitimate, progressive policies, and errors.
Andrew Jackson Young, first African American to serve as UN Ambassador - politician, diplomat, activist and
pastor from Georgia. He has served as Mayor of Atlanta and a Congressman from the 5th (Georgia). He
served as President of the National Council of Churches USA, was a member of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference (SCLC) during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and was a supporter and friend of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The Age of Mayor Andrew Young


There can be no mention of Atlanta without mentioning the civil rights leader Andrew Young. He was born
in March 12, 1932 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Daisy Fuller Young and Andrew Jackson Young Sr. He
experienced Jim Crow segregation first hand in New Orleans. He graduated from Howard University. He
earned a divinity degree from Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut in 1954. He was a preacher too.
He preached in Marion, Alabama and followed nonviolent action as way for social change to come about.
He encouraged African Americans to register to vote. During the 1950s, he became a friend and ally of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1961 after he joined the SCLC in 1960. He was the

executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was one of Dr. Kings lieutenants.
Dr. King and Andrew Young agreed on many matters. Andrew Young was more conservative than the
progressive Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Andrew Young worked in the Civil Rights Campaigns of Birmingham
(1963), St. Augustine (1964), Selma (1965), and in Atlanta (1966). Andrew Young worked with Dr. King in
Memphis too. He originally had doubts on Dr. Kings anti-Vietnam war campaign (later, he strongly opposed
the Vietnam War) and on the Poor Peoples Campaign, but he allied with Dr. King ultimately. According to
Harry Belafonte, Dr. King said that Andrew Young was a capitalist while he or Dr. King was not a capitalist.
Andrew Young, according to Belafonte, said that it is just part of the system which was the problem, but Dr.
King said that the entire system is the problem (and he wanted to change it). Dr. King was assassinated in
1968. Later, Andrew Young ran for Congress in Georgia as a Democrat in 1970. He lost. Andrew Young
would be a member of the Congressional Black Caucus in the 1970s as a Congressman. The CBC or the
Congressional Black Caucus was invented originally to make sure that the political and social issues of black
people are represented fairly in American society. He was appointed by Jimmy Carter in 1977 as
Ambassador to the United Nations. Ambassador Young helped to secure Israeli-Egypt peace talks.
The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was one of the greatest accomplishments of the Jimmy Carter
Presidency. Ironically, Andrew Young was criticized in 1978 for telling the truth that America has hundreds
of political prisoners in America (like civil rights and anti-war protesters). Andrew Young called for a
Palestinian state back in the late 1970s too. Sister Coretta Scott King and others inspired Andrew Young to
run for the mayor of Atlanta. He won in 1981. Andrew Young as mayor continued and expanded Maynard
Jackson's programs for including minority and female-owned businesses in all city contracts. The Mayor's
Task Force on Education established the Dream Jamboree College Fair that tripled the college scholarships
given to Atlanta public school graduates. He opposed apartheid in South Africa and he wanted economic
development in the Third World, especially in Africa. In 1985, he was involved in renovating the Atlanta
Zoo, which was renamed Zoo Atlanta.
Andrew Young was re-elected as Mayor in 1985 with more than 80% of the vote. Atlanta hosted the
Convention during Young's tenure. He was prohibited by term limits from running for a third term. During
his tenure, he talked about how he was "glad to be mayor of this city, where once the mayor had me
thrown in jail. Andrew Young unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Georgia. He co-founded Good Works
International, which has gone throughout controversies. As time went on in the 21st century, Andrew
Young would be more neoliberal on some issues. He wrote letters praising the war monger Paul Wolfowitz,
who was once the President of the World Bank. Wolfowitz (his ally is George Schultz) was one man (out of
many) who was responsible for the terrible war on terror, especially the Iraq war that has killed thousands
of human beings. Andrew Young, years ago, allied with Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria (who has a
controversial history during the 1960s and during the 1970s). Andrew Young has worked with many big
corporations too. Today, Andrew Young has worked in international business ventures, funding various
programs, etc. To be fair, Andrew Young made great accomplishments for black people (including all
people) and he made mistakes. So, we will always remember this important history of Atlanta.

The Early 1990's.


Maynard Johnson was mayor again from 1990 to 1994. Bill Campbell succeeded Jackson as mayor in 1994
and served through 2002. In November 1994, the Atlanta empowerment Zone was created. It was a 10 year
$250 million federal program to revitalize Atlanta's 34 poorest neighborhoods including The Bluff. Scathing
reports from both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Georgia Department of
Community Affairs revealed corruption, waste, bureaucratic incompetence, and specifically called out
interference by mayor Bill Campbell. Mayor Bill Campbell would be controversial from the beginning to end
of his time as mayor of Atlanta. He was even convicted on tax evasion. According to the documentary, "Blue
Gold - World Water Wars," Mayor Campbell accepted a $6,900 campaign contribution and a trip to Paris
from water privatization company Suez even though he was "not running for office." So, Bill Campbell was
one of the corporate mayors who in many instances worked in the interests of the oligarchy instead of the
interests of the people. There should be billions of dollars at least to be spent to rebuild urban and rural
America along with the creation of jobs. We desire social and economic justice. We want political
independence and not bow down to the system of white supremacy or the black misleadership class (who
have ties to corporate elites) who refuse to expose imperialism, capitalism (which by its very nature
advances inequalities, exploitation, and racism), and other evils in the world. When you look at history, the
Democratic and the Republican Parties are not progressive in terms of their leadership. That is why people
want demands like the ending of subprime mortgages, the ending of mass incarceration state, the
establishment of a living wage, the end to the War on Drugs, the closing of unfair tax loopholes, and an end
to unjust, imperialist wars. We will fight for our democratic, human rights.

The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta


I remember the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta like it was yesterday. It lasted from July 19 to August 4,
1996. I was 12 years old during that time. I watched the games on NBC on TV too. The games was historic
and it had many controversies. The Olympic Games was successful economically, but Atlanta Olympics
displaced 30,000 residents and over 809 units of public housing were demolished. 9,000 homeless residents
were arrested. Many people had to leave the city in the entirely. It is very unfortunate that the Atlanta
political elites (who work under the white political establishment leaders promoting the system of
racism/white supremacy) were involved with these evil actions. Neighborhoods were bulldozed and
industries abandoned for the creation of more housing. Not many people know about this fact. Back in
1990, the International Olympic Committee selected Atlanta as the site of the Centennial Olympic Games.
After the announcement, Atlanta took on sever major construction projects to improve the citys parks,
sports facilities, and transportation. There was the long contested Freedom Parkway completed. Former
Mayor Bill Campbell allowed many tent cities to be established. This created a carnival atmosphere
around the games. Atlanta is the third American city to host the Summer Olympics. St. Louis hosted it in
1904 and of course Los Angeles hosted it in 1932 and in 1984. Sporting events happened in the Olympics.
Also, a terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph was involved in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. The attack killed
two people (one from a heart attack). Many people were injured. Eric Robert Rudolph exploited religion
and his views on abortion to harm and kill innocent human life. No matter what views we have on abortion,
there is absolutely no excuse to kill innocent human beings point blank period. The cost of the games was
about US $1.8 billion. There was an expansion of the airport. In Atlanta, the Centennial Olympic Park
represents an almost uncomfortable juxtaposition of wealth and poverty.

The Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, the Morris Brown College Stadium, and others were used as places for
the events in Atlanta and adjoining locations. Izzy was the Mascot. The 1996 Olympics were the first to
have two separate opening ceremony events. Savannah, because of its geographical separation from

Atlanta, had its own opening ceremonies on July 18, 1996. The event featured "Worldwide Connection," a
song composed by Savannah native Jeffrey Reed and a concert by Trisha Yearwood, a Georgia native. The
famous ceremony in Atlanta was famous for featuring Muhammad Ali when he lit the Olympic torch during
the opening ceremonies of the game. He is a courageous Brother for standing up against the war in
Vietnam and defending the rights of black people including all people. Muhammad received a replacement
gold medal for his boxing victory in the 1960 Summer Olympics. America won their gold medal in
Basketball. Sister Marie-Jose Perec won the gold in the 200 m and the 400m.

Michael Johnson is known for


his talent, gold shoes, and his
commentaries on track and
field today.

Gail Devers is a great athlete and an excellent


humanitarian. She is a gorgeous black woman
inside and out. Gail Devers have legendary
nails and she loves to help humanity.

Sister Gail Devers won the gold in the 100 m and the 4X100 m relay. Michael Johnson won gold in both the
200m and the 400m. He set world records during that time until they were broken by Usain Bolt. Donovan
Bailey of Canada won the 100 m. Carol Lewis won his 4th long jump gold medal at the age of 35. In tennis,
Andre Agassi won the gold medal, which would eventually make him the first man and second singles
player overall (after his wife, Steffi Graf) to win the career Golden Slam, which consists of an Olympic gold
medal and victories in the singles tournaments held at professional tennis' four major events (Australian
Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open). Speaking of tennis Serena Williams should be mentioned
as the best female tennis player of all time. Preparations for the Olympics lasted more than six years and
had an economic impact of at least $5.14 billion. Over two million visitors came to Atlanta, and
approximately 3.5 billion people around the world watched part of the games on television.

Mayor Shirley Franklin


Atlanta in the 21st century has been filled with massive changes. Many events have come up. There have
been many people who have the same love of justice and truth. Also, there is so much more to do. There
has been growth of gentrification since the year of 2000. In 2005, Atlantas major airport becomes the
world busiest one. These cultural, demographic, and physical changes have caused a demographic shift in
population. Many of black people have moved into the suburbs increasingly since the 1990s and the
2000s. From 2000 to 2010, the city of Atlanta's black population shrunk by 31,678 people, dropping from
61.4% to 54.0% of the population. While many black people exited the city and DeKalb County, the black
population increased sharply in other areas of Metro Atlanta by 93.1%. There is the growth of the white
population too. During the same period, the proportion of whites in the city's population grew dramatically
- faster than that of any other major U.S. city between 2000-2006. Between 2000 and 2010, Atlanta added
22,763 whites, and the white proportion of the population increased from 31% to 38%. From 2000 to 2009,
more young college educated professions have moved into the city of Atlanta. The three mile radius
surrounding Downtown Atlanta has gained 9,722 residents agreed 25 to 34 from 2000 to 2009. This is an
increase of 61%. There has been an expansion of Atlantas cultural centers like the High Museum of Art and
the Alliance Theater. Many art galleries have been formed in the once-industrial Westside. Shirley Franklin
ran for Mayor of Atlanta in 2001. She won her mayoral debut and she was the first black woman to be
mayor of Atlanta. She faced a huge budget deficit. She increased taxes, but she slashed the number of
government employees. She wanted to balance the budget as quickly as possible.
Franklin wanted to repair Atlanta sewer system since Atlantas combined sewer system violated the federal
Clean Air Act and this caused fines from the EPA or the Environmental Protection Agency. That is why she
or Mayor Shirley Franklin announced the Clear Water Atlanta initiative. So, the citys sewer system started
to improve. She wanted to make Atlanta green or environmentally friendly. Under Franklin's leadership
Atlanta has gone from having one of the lowest percentages of LEED certified buildings to one of the
highest. Atlantas newly privatized water works have umped rust colored mud in the taps of tens of
thousands of Atlanta residents (who are black, white, etc.) One error of Shirley Franklin was that she
completed the demolition of nearly all public housing in Atlanta. Thousands of poor black Atlantans left the
city. Shirley Franklin has worked with the telecom industry and has pushed for the privatization of schools

and services of many kinds. She was reelected in Atlanta as mayor with more than 90 percent of the vote in
2005.
One of her most controversial and bold measures was the 2.8 billion dollar BeltLine project. This was about
converted a disused 22 mile freight railroad loops that surrounds the central city into an art filled multi use
trail. It increased the citys park space by 40%. Later she wanted a bailout of $30 million in order for the
government to help Atlantas financial problems. She co-chairs the United Way of Metropolitan Atlantas
Regional Commission on Homelessness. In 2008, a huge tornado hit Downtown Atlanta, Georgia which
damaged buildings and other structures. One of her most gracious actions was how she led the effort to
have the papers of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be given to his alma mater Morehouse College instead of
being sold at auction. Mayor Shirley Franklin did much better than Bill Campbell. As compared to other
mayors of Atlanta, she has a made a huge, lasting impact in the city of Atlanta.

These are many of the activists from Occupy Atlanta.


In 2009, the young mayor Kasim Reed was elected Mayor of Atlanta. He was inaugurated in 2010. He was
an Atlanta corporate attorney (he worked in as a partner in the transnational firm of Holland and Knight.
This firm was involved in union busting) and he was a Democratic Georgia state senator. Before, he was
mayor; he made no bones in supporting anti-immigrant state policies (like supporting a bill that would lock
up anyone for 5 years for applying for a job with a fake ID). There have been cutbacks in public services like
the MARTA transportation service. There are still serious problems of unemployment, mass incarceration,
etc. In 2011, Kasim Reid had a conflict with Occupy Atlanta. Occupy Atlanta protested against economic
inequality. The mayor sent barricades and more police in the area. The occupiers were in the park. There
were people like Andrew Young who wanted a deal where occupiers would submit to some demands in
exchange for Occupy Atlanta to leave the park. Later, Mayor Kasim Reed ordered Woodruff Park to be
surrounded by hundreds of police and they cleared the park shortly after midnight. More than 50 people
were arrested. Thomas Friedman has praised Kasim Reed for balancing the citys budget by limiting the
pensions of the city employees. The money was spent on the police force including in community centers in
poor neighborhoods. Kasim Reed was elected to a second term as Mayor on November 5, 2013. Mayor

Reed partnered with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to act as the "faces of the pro-TSPLOST campaign",
TSPLOST standing for transportation special purpose local option sales tax", which would have levied a 1%
sales tax for ten years, from 2013 until 2022, to fund transportation infrastructure projects. He supported
passing the referendum because it "would add jobs and improve congestion" and "failing to pass the
measure would be economically damaging" for Atlanta. He stated that he would "work with opponents on
the next plan to ease congestion. He has ups and downs (like his response to the 2014 snowstorm in the
South) during his Mayoral term.
The issues now is Atlanta involve many poor residents being pushed out of Atlanta, income inequality,
poverty, and other issues. We see the paradox of the development of a strong middle class and upper class
community in Atlanta today while the poor suffer problems that must be addressed. So, it is that many of
these mainstream politicians (Republicans and Democrats) work with the corporate world without
proposing a revolutionary solution to confront poverty or confront the capitalist power structure. Limited
changes here and there are not needed. We want comprehensive, revolutionary change where poverty is
defeated, where economic justice is made real, and where we can see an end to the War on Drugs. That is
what we want.

More Changes in Atlanta during the 21st Century


There have been a lot of developments in Atlanta too. The current mayor Kasim Reed has massive name
recognition in political circles. Mayor Reed's civic leadership and service have been nationally recognized in
publications such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Ebony,
and Black Enterprise. He was selected as one of Georgia Trend magazine's "40 under 40 Rising Stars" in
2001, one of "10 Outstanding Atlantans" in Outstanding Atlanta, a member of the Leadership Georgia Class
of 2000, and a Board Member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. 2011, he received an honorary degree
in Doctor of Laws from Oglethorpe University. By 2011, Atlanta is the first U.S. city to demolish all public

housing projects. In October of 2011, Occupy Atlanta staged demonstrations against banks and AT&T to
protest greed by those companies. One was the Atlanta Public School cheating scandal. Like on many
scandals, many of the lower level players received harsh sentences while various foundations (who
orchestrated the neoliberal public school agenda are not exposed readily). The former Atlanta school

superintendent Beverly Hall was indicted and convicted. In fact, an investigation by the Georgia governors
office in 2009 found that a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation infested the district, led by thenSuperintendent Beverly Hall, with teachers facing humiliation, demotion and firing if they did not meet
student achievement targets. Many of those convicted received long years in prison, which was harsh.
Now, what the teachers did was wrong and it deserves no justification. I want to make that clear. They
were convicted of many charges like racketeering, etc. they were involved in allowing many students to
cheat on standardized tests given to Atlantas public school. It has been always the agenda of the
establishment to demonize teachers (even great ones), discredit the concept of public education, and
privatize it to be controlled by select corporate interests.
The Fulton Countys Judge acted excessively when this problem has occurred for decades. Now, I do believe
that the convicted teachers and superintendent should be fined, never allowed to teach again, and have
other forms of reprimand. I dont believe that those convicted should have over 5 years in prison (while
banksters involved in the financial criminal behaviors arent readily jailed at all). The Wall Street banks,
credit rating agencies, federal regulators, news media and politicians from both big business parties
conspired to cover up the financial criminality that led to the 2008 economic crash. While millions lost their
homes, jobs and savings, the financial aristocracy was not only held accountable; it was made richer than
ever. Dessa Curb was the only person acquitted in the case.

Atlanta's Great Culture


Atlanta is a Southern city. Also, it is influenced by immigrants and other multicultural influences too. It is a
very cosmopolitan city. It has a great amount of culture. There is the arts district in Midtown. There are
strong neighborhoods in the citys eastside. There are multi ethnic enclaves along Buford Highway. Black
people build a huge amount of culture in Atlanta culturally, economically, musically, socially, etc. The King
Center in Auburn Avenue has exhibits, teachings, and other areas where human beings can know about the
power of nonviolence. More than 600,000 people from all over the world have visited the King Center as
well. The Center for Civil and Human Rights celebrates the actions of the Freedom Riders and the sit in
movement with videos and other interactive services. It has the Freedom Riders Wall, the Wall of Martyrs,
and the Voice of the Voiceless which remembers the civil rights heroes who sacrificed so much for us. The

Ebenezer Baptist Church is another historical landmark of Atlanta, Georgia. It was the church where Dr.
King and his father preached from. It has luncheons, banquets, business meetings, conferences, receptions,
and more. The Herndon home is a National Historic Landmark that celebrates the contributions of the
African American Herndon family to the city of Atlanta. There is the Atlanta Opera, Atlanta Ballet, and other
locations which attract many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibits. Many people already
know about the Fox Theatre. This is a historic landmark in landmark that is among the highest grossing
theaters of its size. It is found in 660 Peachtree Street NE. It can house almost 5,000 people. It was opened
in 1929. Broadway performances and other venues are displayed in the Fox Theater. Its architecture has
Egyptian, Islamic, and other influences. It has the four manual 42 rank pipe organ which is nicknamed the
Mighty Mo. Underground Atlanta is found in downtown. It is a cultural hub. It was opened in 1969. It has
12 acres, 3 levels, and 225,000 square feet of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. It offers cultural
services, entertainment, community, and family programming. Atlantas BeltLine is Atlantas newest
outdoor space. It is made up of 22 miles of unused railroad tracks circling the core of the citys in town
neighborhoods. It has trails and walkways to open green space and parks. It has connected human beings
all over the city. Here is massive public art on the Beltline too including restaurants.

One huge aspect of Atlanta has always been music. Music from Atlanta has not only influenced America,
but the world. Atlanta is known for having a thriving music industry. It is known to be one of the capital
cities of hip hop, crunk, R&B, neo-soul, gospel, country, etc. Also, there is a thriving industry of indie-rock
(with artists like the Indigo Girls, The Black Crowes, etc.), classical country, and blues. Blind Willie McTell is a

great blues singer. A lot of people dont know that from the 1920s to the 1950s. Fiddlin John Carson was a
star of Atlanta country music back decades ago. Atlanta was a major center for country music. Woodruff
Arts Center is the home of the Alliance Theater and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. As for hip hop, Atlanta is
known for many of well-known artists. There are artists like B.o.B., Kriss Kross, TI, Outkast, Killer Mike, the
Dungeon Family, Ludacris, Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri, and tons of artists plus producers who are born in
Atlanta or are based in Atlanta. Atlanta R and B artists include of course Monica, Xscape, Ciara, Lloyd,
Usher, and other talented artists. Neo-soul has a strong base in Atlanta. India Arie is known for her music
and she has a great consciousness and excellent creativity. There are other neo-soul artists like Society of
Soul, Laurnea, Kemetic Just, Divinity Roxx, Sleepy Brown, Khari Simmons, Anthony David, etc. Atlanta have
celebrations about gospel all of the time. Sallie B. Parrish is a well-known Atlanta Gospel singer. The ASO
Gospel Choir is based in Atlanta that show the talents of many men and women who want to sing their
songs about love, hope, joy, spirituality, and triumph. Robyn Lakee is a Sister who is a gospel singer too.
Atlanta is known for its live music scene as well.

There are numerous sports teams in Atlanta. It has professional franchises for four major team sports. They
are the Atlanta Braves of the Major League Baseball League. There is the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA and
the Altanta Falcons of the NFL. The Atlanta Dream is the citys Womens National Basketball Association
franchise. The WNBA has been around for over 20 years and it has historically inspired women and girls to
achieve their dreams. The Braves moved into Atlanta in 1966. That team was originally the Boston Red
Stockings from 1871 and its the oldest continually operating professional sports franchise in America. The
Braves won the World Sereis in 1995. They had an n unprecedented run of 14 straight divisional
championships from 1991 to 2005. The Atlanta Falcons started in 1966. They played in Atlanta ever since
that year. The Falcons won the division multiple times. They came into the conference championship once.
They went to the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos in 1999. It was Super Bowl XXXIII. Atlanta hosted
the Super Bowl in 1994 and in the year of 2000. In 2001 and 2011, Atlanta hosted the PGA Championship,
which is one of the four major championships in mens professional golf at the Atlanta Athletic Club. It
hosted the 56th NHL All-Star Game in 2008, three years before the Thrashers moved. It hosts many college
football bowl games too.

The shark display is found in the Georgia


Aquarium in Atlanta. It was opened
recently in November 23, 2005. It has
about 500 species of Americans and its
tanks have a total volume of more than
10 million U.S. gallons (38,000 m3). The
aquarium has many animals and they
advance research and conservation.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is filled


with 30 acres. It is found adjacent to the
Piedmont Park in Midtown, Atlanta,
Georgia. It was founded in 1976 after a
petition by citizens in 1973. Exhibitions,
various plant species, and massive
gardens are found in the Atlanta
Botanical Gardens.

Certainly, Atlanta has a wonderful, beautiful culture.

Bless ATL
Yes, We wont stop, because we cant stop.

We send prayers and condolences to the families and


friends of the victims of the attacks in Paris, France.

Nous ne sommes jamais peur. Fascisme sera vaincu . Nous


serons toujours progresser la liberte, la justice et l'egalite

Solidarite.