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Voices Across the Color Line oral history transcriptions

Collection number: ahc.MSS990

Scope and Content

The bulk of these oral histories deal with the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta. Specific events that are mentioned include the student movement centering around Atlanta University; The Committee On Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR); creation and publication of the Atlanta Enquirer newspaper; the organization of the Atlanta Committee of Cooperative Action (ACCA), the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and activities to desegregate city buses and restaurants. Other topics that are discussed on the tapes include desegregation of the public schools and libraries and the organization of Help Our Public Education (H.O.P.E.). In addition, the relationship between local activists and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) are discussed. Among the specific interviews, desegregation of Atlanta schools is discussed by Pearlie Dove, Robert Edge, John Sibley, Portia Harden Potts, and Muriel Lokey. The activities tied to the Student Movement at Atlanta University are discussed by Lonnie King, Jesse Hill, Alton Hornsby, and Charles Black. Although the primary focus of the project was the documentation of Atlantans and their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, events in Georgia and the Southeast were also collected. Of particular importance is the discussion of the St. Augustine Movement, a series of demonstrations that are said to have guaranteed passage and the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Other discussions include work in desegregating educational facilities throughout the country, and discrimination and segregation in the United States Army in the 1950s and 1960s.


  • 2005-2006


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

This collection consists of 36 interviews conducted during a six month period in 2005 and 2006. The project, headed by Dr. Carole Merritt of the Atlanta History Center staff, collected audio and video tape the memories of individuals active in the Civil Rights Movement. This oral history program was developed as a means to expand the information regarding Civil Rights activities in Atlanta and in Georgia. The project was funded from several sources, including the Georgia Humanities Council. Staff members at the Atlanta History Center, working with Dr. Merritt, identified individuals within the Civil Rights movement that provided a unique perspective on the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Merritt scheduled and conducted all of the interviews. The transcribing and editing of the oral histories was completed by the staff of the James G. Kenan Research Center.


2.69 linear ft. (2 document cases)



System of Arrangement

Transcriptions are arranged in alphabetical order by the surname of the interviewee. The video tapes and audio tapes have been stored in separate boxes in separate storage areas for optimum preservation. Digitized versions of the interviews are available through the Reading Room of the Kenan Research Center.

Technical Access

Each of the interviews were recorded using two different formats, audio cassette tapes and video by mini-DV.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Oral histories were collected by staff of the Atlanta History Center in 2005 and 2006 (2007.110).

Related Archival Materials

Voices Against the Color Line oral history recordings, VIS 180, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center

Description Control

Collection processed in 2009.

Voices Across the Color Line oral history transcriptions
Paul Crater
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305