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Black Power in DixieA Political History of African Americans in Atlanta$
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Alton Hornsby Jr.

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813032825

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813032825.001.0001

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The Dawn of Political Influence, 1947–1961

The Dawn of Political Influence, 1947–1961

(p.74) 4 The Dawn of Political Influence, 1947–1961
Black Power in Dixie

Alton Hornsby

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses the emergence of a new black American political influence in the political scene of Atlanta. This chapter begins with a chronicle of the political career of William Berry Hartsfield who saw the relevance of the abolishment of the Democratic white primacy and the potential impact and influence of the black voters. Following his instinct regarding the growing political influence of the blacks, Hartsfield became a champion for blacks and granted the long-desired access to law enforcement for blacks. This hiring of black policemen and officers led to an increase in the number of registered black voters who as a result had a decisive influence in elections. With their significant increase in the number of voters and their rapidly growing influence and decisive role in elections, some blacks used this to get involved with politics through which they gained significant governmental seats. While their political achievements were a source of pride, these achievements did little to improve the lives of the blacks. As the bleak situation of the blacks proliferated after their growing political influence, the blacks pushed for the abolishment of racial discrimination and the creation of equality. With the pending decision of the Supreme Court on the abolishment of segregation schemes, the blacks, particularly black leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., gained strength to forward the cause and the welfare of the black community.

Keywords:   political influence, William Berry Hartsfield, black voters, decisive role, Martin Luther King Jr., political achievements

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