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atlanta civil rights movement

Brenna Beech / WABE

The role of Atlanta’s African-American leaders in the civil rights movement is well-documented. But, the city’s Jewish community supported the struggle too. 

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This is the 150th anniversary year of Atlanta’s oldest synagogue, called The Temple. The milestone has become an opportunity to honor The Temple's civil rights legacy.

Image from the Gene Patterson papers, Rose Library at Emory University

Thursday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Brenna Beech / WABE


On Oct. 3, 1949, the nation's first radio station owned by an African-American was founded right here in Atlanta. WERD became a mouthpiece for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a rallying point for the civil rights movement.

In the early 1960s, the Atlanta Student Movement bubbled up from the historically black colleges on the west side of downtown.

They wanted to be able to eat at restaurants, shop at department stores and not live as second-class citizens.

But their efforts were not being covered by the traditional media. Even the existing black press ignored them – fearing they were too radical and disruptive to the status quo.

That’s how the Atlanta Inquirer was born. Several black leaders – including businessmen Herman Russell and Jesse Hill – put their support behind the upstart.

Tom Houck Cover
Alison Guillory / WABE

This story was published in February 2016.

Fifty years ago, a 19-year-old Tom Houck stood in front of the Southern Christian Leadership Committee (SCLC) headquarters on Auburn Avenue and waited for a ride to the Freedom House where he was staying.