Box 13, Folder 21, Document 78

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Box 13, Folder 21, Document 78

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STE an eee



Vol. 48, No. 8

Emory Universit

The Jaundiced Ei yes


Dykes High School is located in northwest
Atlanta at the corner of Powers Ferry and Jett
Roads across from Chastain Park. The fact of
its location is insignificant as is the fact of its
existence except that the institution serves to
provide needed educational facilities to the im-
mediate surrounding area.

What is significant is the fact that few Ne-
groes attend the school. Of course the reason for
this is that very few Negroes live in the neigh-
borhood serviced by Dykes. Thus the important
point is that very few Negroes live on the north-
side of Atlanta—in the social area known to
readers of the hate sheet, the Northside News,

Now it is not suggested that any person should
particularly want to live in that area or to
partake of its so-called benefits: debutantes,
snobbery and other pleasantries. But it is a
very beautiful neighborhood with rolling lawns,
large estates, much green and, thanks to fine
influence with the city, well-paved streets. In
fact, the best possible in city services, in school,
in all the things that go to make for gracious
living are provided to the needy residents living
there. Need a telephone installed, be right out,
none of this crap about party-lines. Garbage
collected regularly and streets, even the most
out of the way ones, cleaned with little delay.

Yes, on the northside lives the wealth of At-
Janta. The decision makers are there—the pres-
idents of the companies, the senior partners of
the law firms, the doctors who claim that status
brought by Piedmont Hospital. This is “Driving
Club” land. And there are no Negroes. Read the
social pages of the Atlanta newspapers: no Ne-
groes ever have parties, get married, or give
birth to children. In fact none of this goes on
anywhere but the northside—if one trusts these

Meanwhile the Biltmore Hotel was the host
last week to the annual meeting of the Southern
Regional Council. At the banquet last Thursday

the people mixed—colored and white, gentile and
Jew. There were northsiders there. Several weeks
earlier the Regency Hotel was the site of the
annual meeting of the Southern Christian Lead-
ership Conference. Sidney Poitier, Mrs. Rosa
Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King lead the

dignitaries. Mayor Allen was among them. And |

there were many northsiders there.

These annual meetings are important for two
reasons. They indicate that there are those
among the leadership of Atlanta who do not
hold the normal views of the northside. These

are: the people who have been instrumental in
eit esd the policies and programs that have

en Atlanta the progy essive image that it has
“ 4 pas and who ses > elect id or seen to. to the elec- —

Poitier, It. Z. King
Attend SKC Meeting

tion of the proper persons to carry out the
policies and programs.

The annual meetings also would indicate that
the organizations sponsoring the meetings exist.
The fact that the SRC and the SCLC still exis*
is a comment on our time. It is not that they
should have been wiped out by waves of South-
ern bigotry, but that there is still a need for
their continuation.

The comment is this: 1) it has been 12 years
since 1954 and the Brown decision; 2) it has
been over 100 years since the end of the revolt
of the Southern states; 3) it has been almost
200 years since these words were written—
‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that
all men are created equal... .”

The facts are these: in Atlanta, schools are
still segregated in fact; Negroes must live in
one particular section of town; no major law
firm has yet to hire a Negro lawyer; no major
company has hired Negro executives, the jobs
left open to Negroes are menial and low paying
for the most part; no social club will accept
Negroes as members; Negro neighborhoods are
on the bottom in city services and assistance
provided by private companies; schools in these
neighborhoods are the oldest and most crowded;
in the slums landlords and loan sharks prey
upon the ignorance created by white bigotry
and do so unregulated by the law; for the most
part pure racism governs the sale of houses
and the rental of apartments in the better areas
of Atlanta preventing a Negro’s moving there
even if he wanted to and on and on and on.

Perhaps this situation makes the point more
clearly: in the Commerce Building, home of the
organization that developed and stands for “For-
ward Atlanta”—the Atlanta Chamber of Com-
merce, is located the Commerce Club to which
no Negro is welcome as a guest or member, not
even the Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

Atlanta has begun to take the faltering steps
to treat all its citizens as the minimum demand-
ed by human decency—as human beings. Yet be-
fore the smugness settles too deeply in these
homes on the northside where not much is seen

beyond the country club, these people, who see
the resolution of the problems of Detroit and Los
Angeles and New York and Atlanta as better
police protection, should recognize what lip ser-
vice to progress really means. It means nothing.
And too much depends on immediate action to
be satisfied with it.

The change that will come will not come over-
night, but as one Southerner, Judge Wisdom of
the Fifth Cireuit Court of Appeals, —
in the Jefferson County case:

The clock has ticked the last tick for
and delay in the name of “deliberate sp sed”.


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