Home | Atlanta's Story | Bibliography | Web Resources | Search Archival Collections

Download Atlanta's Story (436k PDF) | Download Timeline (309k PDF) | Works Cited

View Photo Gallery

Phase Two - Retrenchment and Redirection - 1957

January: A group of 100 ministers form the “Law, Love, and Liberation” movement. Six of the members sit in the ‘whites only’ section of a city bus and are arrested. The protesters are: William Holmes Borders, Robert H. Shorts, A. Franklin Fisher, Howard Busey, B.J. Johnson, and R.H. Williams. Local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President Samuel Williams files a desegregation law suit on the group’s behalf. The city’s public transportation is desegregated two years later.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is established in Atlanta by the Revs. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth, and Bayard Rustin. This organization solidifies the network of African American ministers comprising the leadership of the movement locally and nationally. Ella Jo Baker is named the assistant director and attempts to bring her ideas about collective governance to SCLC. The Atlanta Chapter of SCLC is headed by the Rev. John A. Middleton, pastor of Allen Temple A.M.E. Church.

Students in the Spelman College Political Science Club, advised by white professor Howard Zinn, attempt to sit in the “whites only” section of the galleries in the state capital. They are ordered to leave by the Speaker of the House. They continue the sit-in protests, which contribute to the later desegregation of the galleries.