January: Calhoun v. Latimer becomes the first school desegregation law suit in Georgia since the U.S. Supreme Courts’ Brown decision; it is filed against the Atlanta Board of Education. A number of Auburn Avenue leaders do not support this action. Atlanta National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Chapter Director John Calhoun is one of the few in favor of pushing ahead with school desegregation. Governor Ernest Vandiver reaffirms his pledge to prevent school desegregation. Atlanta threatens to close its schools rather than desegregate.
Young black professionals, dissatisfied with the gradualist approach of the “old guard” black leadership, establish the Atlanta Committee for Cooperative Action (ACCA). They include Whitney Young, dean of the Atlanta University School of Social Work, and Jesse Hill, Atlanta Life Insurance executive and staunch supporter of civil rights activities in the city.
November: The “Atlanta Manifesto” is published by a coalition of liberal white clergy. It calls for local schools to remain open rather than close to avoid desegregation.
Martin Luther King, Jr. writes StrideToward Freedom, a book describing the Montgomery bus boycott and explaining his views on nonviolent direct action as the ideal strategy for the movement.