Closer Look: Remembering the Atlanta Student Movement

(L-R) Atlanta Student Movement members Charles Black, Dr. Gwendolyn Middlebrooks, Dr. Roslyn Pope and Morris Dillard look back on the sit-in at Rich's lunch counter in Atlanta.
(L-R) Atlanta Student Movement members Charles Black, Dr. Gwendolyn Middlebrooks, Dr. Roslyn Pope and Morris Dillard look back on the sit-in at Rich's lunch counter in Atlanta.
Credit Emilia Brock / WABE

Friday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

Today is a special full-hour edition of “Closer Look” as we remember the Atlanta Student Movement.

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief about how, as week one of early voting here in Georgia winds down, voter turnout continues to be high. According to the Secretary of State’s office, 302,831 people have cast in-person ballots, far exceeding 2014 midterm numbers.
  • In other news, three advocacy groups are coming together and questioning why several Georgia counties have still not processed thousands of voter registration forms. The Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and Asian Americans Advancing Justice released a statement today. They say tens of thousands of eligible metro-Atlanta voters couldn’t cast their ballots, because their registration had not yet been processed, even after early voting began in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Cobb and other areas. Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of GALEO, joins us in the studio to share his concerns about the impact this will have on voters in the community.
  • 20:33: On Oct. 19, 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and dozens of student activists staged a sit-in at Rich’s lunch counter in Atlanta. He, and others, were arrested. Now, the work of Dr. King and leaders from the Atlanta Student Movement is being documented through an oral history project at Kennesaw State University. On the 58th anniversary of the Rich’s lunch counter sit-in, we look back on that day in the Civil Rights Movement with Atlanta Student Movement members Charles Black, Morris Dillard, Dr. Lonnie King, Dr. Gwendolyn Middlebrooks, Professor Emerita of Spelman College, and Dr. Roslyn Pope.
(L to R) Morris Dillard, Dr. Roslyn Pope, Charles Black and Dr. Gwendolyn Middlebrooks join “Closer Look” in the studio to talk about the Atlanta Student Movement. Photo credit: Emilia Brock
  • The oral history project, led by its director Dr. Jeanne Bohannon, is titled “The Atlanta Student Movement Project” It’s part of multi-year grant KSU received from the Rich Foundation. The project aims to uncover, and preserve, the history of the Atlanta Student Movement as well as educate the next generation through curriculum for high school students.

More information can be found here: https://soar.kennesaw.edu/handle/11360/2384

Note: If you or someone you know has a story about the Atlanta Student Movement they’d like to share and record, please contact Jeanne Law Bohannon by email, jbohan12@kennesaw.edu, or phone at 470-578-7380.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler, Emilia Brock and Grace Walker.