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Georgia Government Documentation Project: L

A guide to the Georgia Government Documentation Project oral history collection.

Series L. "Portraits of the Past"

Series L. "Portraits of the Past" (P2000-08)

Interviews by Cliff Kuhn.

"Portraits of the Past" was a series of interviews with prominent Atlantans broadcast in half-hour shows on City of Atlanta Cable television. The series was co-sponsored by Georgia State University and the Atlanta City Hall Communications Department.

For Availability Information, see the Finding Aid.

Series L Oral Histories

Callaway, W. L. (P1992-13)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn

October 21, 1992

No Transcript


W.L. "Bill" Calloway (1908-1999) is an Atlanta black business leader and helped found the Central Atlanta Improvement Association.

Among topics discussed: Family background; Atlanta's demographics; West End; Edmond Asa Ware Elementary School; the roles of Morehouse and Spelman colleges in black education before the opening of Booker T. Washington High School; C. L. Harper; Harper as a role model; the Atlanta police; desegregation of the police force; Butler street YMCA; Calloway's start in business; real estate; "Sweet Auburn"; Citizens Trust Company Bank; downtown banks; Atlanta Life Insurance and Standard Life Insurance; William Lee Perry; Benjamin Davis; the Masonic Lodge; patronage; John Wesley Dobbs; how "Sweet Auburn" received its name; the Butler Street YMCA; Hungry Club; politicians courting the black vote; Herman Talmadge speaking to the Hungry Club; Roy Harris; Central Atlanta Progress; Atlanta Regional Commission; Mills B. Lane; forming the Action Forum; contributors to the Action Forum; Atlanta rising to meet its challenges; the Georgia Dome; Atlanta's power structure; the chances of reviving Auburn Avenue. 


Goodwin, George (P1992-01)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn

January 17, 1992

No Transcript

See Goodwin Party Oral History in Series G.

George Goodwin (b. 1917) was a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the Atlanta Journal and director of Central Atlanta Improvement Association.

Among topics discussed: Ponce de Leon Apartments; Boys High School and its alumni; Washington and Lee University; interest in journalism; Atlanta Georgian; World War II; Atlanta Journal; covering the city beat; William B. Hartsfield; origins of the airport; Hartsfield's political style; Hartsfield's first mayoral defeat; political coalitions; desegregation of the Atlanta police force; black precinct voting patterns; the 1946 governors’ race; three‑governor controversy; write in votes; 1946  lynching in Monroe, Georgia; Winecoff Hotel fire; Central Atlanta Improvement Association (CAIA); Atlanta power structure; annexation; "Plan of Improvement"; functions of city and county governments; Joseph K. Hyman; Luther Alverson; CAIA; relationships with other civic groups; Robert W. Woodruff and the Atlanta oligarchy; Robert Thompson; public housing; Peyton Road; communication between black and white power structure; 1961 mayors race; Muggsy Smith; Georgia General Assembly; cities in Georgia; Sibley Commission; desegregation; Atlanta's reputation.


Henderson, Jacob (P1992-02)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn

July 24, 1992

No Transcript


Jacob Henderson (b. 1911) served as a leader in the 1946 black voter registration drive in Atlanta.

SEE also Henderson interview in series E.

Among topics discussed: Education in Atlanta; University Homes; John Egan Homes; managing public housing; the value of public housing to its tenants; downfall of public housing; involvement with Alpha Phi Alpha; John Wesley Dobbs; A.T. Walden; partisan politics; origins of Negro Voters League; W.H. "Chief" Aiken; Civilian Defense; voter registration in John Egan Homes; Helen Douglas Mankin election in 1946; impact of Mankin election on black voting; importance of Voters League; Atlanta Daily World's affect on elections; Robert Thompson; 1946 voter registration drive; mapping system; Urban League; black church involvement in voter registration; Grace Towns Hamilton; Hughes Spalding Hospital; FEPC and the Bell Bomber plant; Captain Collins;  employment at the Bell Bomber plant; training workers for defense jobs; dismissal from housing project; mass meetings and political endorsement; Negro Voters League "yardstick"; Henderson Travel Agency; fashion design; importance of black travel agencies; travels to Africa; established black leadership and their relation to the student movements in the 1960s; importance of understanding history.


Johnson, Leroy (P1991-02)

Interviewed by: Clifford Kuhn

October 17, 1991

No Transcript


Leroy Johnson (b. 1928), from Atlanta, served in the Georgia Senate from 1963‑1975, and was the first black state senator in Georgia since Reconstruction.

Among topics discussed: Early life; Washington High School; C.L. Harper; teacher's pay; Butler Street YMCA; black churches; Ebenezer Baptist Church; Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr.; Dr. William Holmes Borders; segregation; Dr. Benjamin Mays; the Fox Theater; life at Morehouse College; early political involvement; Atlanta Negro Voters League; voting classes; "All Citizens Voting Drive"; desegregation of the Atlanta police force; early career in education; Tuskegee, Alabama; A.T. Walden; career in the solicitor generals office; Fulton County courthouse; campaign for state Senate; county unit system; reapportionment; Johnson's first term in the Senate; reaction of other senators; desegregation of the state cafeteria; state capitol water fountains; politics and desegregation; the power of vote; bills sponsored by Johnson; Georgia Association of Democratic Clubs; perceptions of political power; Roscoe Dean; Carl Sanders; Peter Zack Geer; Lester Maddox; Maddox and Jimmy Carter's fight to control Senate committees; permanent alliances and permanent interests; changes in Atlanta; what needs to be done.


Scott, Lucile (P1991-03)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn

October 22, 1991

No Transcript


Mrs. Scott was the wife of W.A. Scott, founder of the Atlanta Daily World, the first national daily black newspaper.

Among topics discussed: Jackson State University; family background; husband's background; starting a newspaper in the 1920s; husband's personality; racial coverage by the Journal and the Constitution; selling techniques; black community news coverage; content of newspaper; Rich's Department Store; Auburn Avenue; Yates and Milton Drug Store; Duke Ellington; the Hungry Club; black women in media; the World photographs by W.A. Scott III; Browner Brothers; Dorothy Hart; Edna Grey; advertising at the World; achievements of the World; celebrity column by Lucile Scott; Duke Ellington; segregation and the Ellington Band; memories of segregation; changes in Atlanta.


Tuttle, Elbert (P1992-05)

Interviewed by: Clifford Kuhn

April 10, 1992

31pp Transcript


Elbert Tuttle (1897-1996) served as a Justice on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1954 to 1968, as Chief Justice of the Fifth Circuit from 1961‑1968, and has served as Senior Justice of the Fifth Circuit (reorganized into the Eleventh Circuit as of October 1, 1981) from 1968 to the present. He served as Chief judge when the 5th Circuit was the legal battleground for the Civil Rights movement.

SEE also Tuttle interview in series B.

Among topics discussed: Early life and education; first law practice; Atlanta in the 1920's; Georgia National Guard; John Downer case; Elberton lynch mob; the John Downer rape trial; A.T. Walden; the Leo Frank case; the Angelo Herndon case; Morehouse College; Dr. Benjamin Mays; the Republican Party; the Democratic Party primary; the Georgia General Assembly and the county unit system; composition of Georgia Republican Party; patronage; "lily‑white" Republicans; John Wesley Dobbs; Brown v. Board of Education; the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; extending the Brown decision; the legal basis for "massive resistance"; ending litigation on school cases; the desegregation of the University of Georgia; hate mail; Sarah Tuttle; Rich's Department Store; Lester Maddox and the Pickrick restaurant; Prathia Hall v. Heart of Atlanta;  desegregation of amusement places; voting rights; jury standards; Julian Bond case; the Fifth Circuit.

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives

Finding Aid

Phone: (404) 413-2880
Fax: (404) 413-2881

Mailing Address:
Special Collections & Archives
Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur Street, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3202

In Person:
Library South, 8th floor

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