Summer 2009

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The recent issue of Emory Magazine is exceptionally well done. I have received the magazine for many years, but questioned the lack of diversity in coverage, especially given the demographics of the metro area. Emory is an outstanding institution; however, in my opinion, it hasn’t positioned itself as having significant connections in certain ethnic communities. Emory’s value to the Atlanta community, in particular, is immeasurable; we simply need to enhance its image within those communities.

Linda Torrence

Atlanta publisher, Girl Friends Health Guide for Women of Color

Tucker

I have read with much satisfaction almost every word in the latest issue of Emory Magazine. It is gratifying to read of all that is happening at Emory to further improve race relations in our society. In the 1930s, Emory contributed much to my commitment to seeking improved black-white relationships. The account of the desegregation of Emory and the roles in this played by Fink, Bowden, and Martin is of special interest to me. Having been president of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College from 1952 to 1978, I know from my own experience the struggles in bringing about desegregation of a college.

William F. Quillian Jr. 35C

Lynchburg, Virginia

I’ve been reading Emory publications of all varieties for sixty years, including writing and editing some as a student. Rarely, if ever, do I remember an Emory publication more representative of the best of journalism than your spring issue of Emory Magazine. As a close observer professionally and a participant in the media world of Atlanta since 1948, I especially enjoyed Hank Klibanoff’s “True Story of the Atlanta Times.” With public relations and advertising agency roles for many years, I had relationships with most Atlanta media organizations and many of their respective staffs, including the Atlanta Times. But I learned much that I either never knew or forgot. I was especially pleased to read about Luke Greene, who was my city editor on the Atlanta Constitution where I was a reporter in the early fifties after graduating from Emory. Luke Greene was a soft-spoken, highly respected newspaperman, who skillfully, along with the late Lee Rogers and other associates, guided the news coverage and editing of that paper whose editor was the famed Ralph McGill. Luke treated young reporters like me with the same respect he accorded a group of more experienced “older hands,” including some of the South’s best newspaperwomen, Celestine Sibley being one. He and Lee Rogers gave me many interesting assignments, including covering three or four times a week for about a month one of Billy Graham’s first “crusades” at the old Ponce de Leon ball park. I also interviewed Congressman James C. Davis, one of the principals of the Atlanta Times, in a downtown hotel long before the Times was founded. Mr. Klibanoff’s story utilized the papers at Emory of my good friend Joe Cumming. . . . Joe and his predecessor at Newsweek’s Atlanta bureau, Bill Emerson, were among the best newsmen ever to report on the South in dynamic days. I’m glad to see his papers utilized to such good purpose in a good story.

Richard E. (Dick) Hodges 50C

Marietta

There is an important fact left out of the story about the Atlanta Times and Charles Weltner’s [congressional election] defeat of James Davis. That defeat was made possible by the overturning of the county unit system. Charles and a group of progressive pastors and lawyers had brought suit in court to change the way that votes were counted in Georgia, and it resulted in the defeat of the county unit system, which determined the way votes were counted. That court decision remains the law in Georgia today. Jim Davis stood for everything destructive and corruptive of the Southern system of segregation. Charles’s victory meant a Southern vote in support of the landmark civil rights legislation enacted under Lyndon Johnson.

Nyta Weltner Richardson

Conyers

I was delighted to read Stacey Jones’s thoughtful and moving piece on the Transforming Community Project (TCP) in the spring 2009 issue (“Facing Race”). For the past four years it has been my privilege to lecture each spring to the annual TCP faculty-student seminar, exploring the dynamics and legacies of slavery in the early history of Emory College. Readers will be interested to note that as of last spring, the historically African American section of the Oxford City Cemetery now contains a handsome memorial, erected by the city of Oxford, honoring those many persons of color buried in the cemetery, who, in slavery and freedom, laid so many of the foundations of Emory College and the city of Oxford. I should correct a minor historical inaccuracy in the article. At the time of the fateful May 1844 conference of the Methodist Church, which led to the church’s nearly century-long schism between northern and southern wings, Bishop Andrew did not own only two slaves (although this is erroneously asserted in many published sources). In addition to the enslaved woman known as Kitty (whose origin remains mysterious) and the enslaved man known as Billy (the property of his late, first wife Ann Amelia, who died in 1842), he also was the legal owner of at least fourteen other enslaved men and women who had come into his household through his marriage to his second wife, Ann Leonora Greenwood, in January 1844. We know the names of these fourteen persons because on April 12, 1844, Bishop Andrew and his close friend, Emory College President Augustus Longstreet, participated in a complicated legal transaction, evidently aimed at disguising the extent of the Bishop’s slaveowning, in anticipation of abolitionist criticism at the upcoming New York conference. Bishop Andrew deeded, for ten dollars, fourteen slaves to President Longstreet, who then promptly transferred the slaves back to Bishop Andrew and his wife in the form of a trust. I recount the diverse stories of all these enslaved persons in my forthcoming book on how the Andrew-Kitty story has been remembered over time, in white and African American communities. In support of this research, I would be enormously grateful to any readers of Emory Magazine who might be willing to share their recollections of the Andrew-Kitty story or of the slave quarters known as Kitty’s Cottage, especially during the time the building served as the Kitty Cottage Museum at Salem Campground.

Mark Auslander

Department of Anthropology

Brandeis University

Someone once coined the phrase “the past is prelude to the future.” The Prelude article provided interesting and informative local cultural perspective of the struggle for equality that took place in the schools and continues today in various arenas. Emory’s complexity and diversity is unique because its mission is to both acknowledge our differences and unify us in a common vision of service to humankind, which is a wonderful goal.

Ann Byrd Bullock-MacGowan 83MBA

Vienna, Virginia

I read with interest the spring issue of Emory Magazine with its emphasis on the civil rights movement in Atlanta. I was dismayed, however, by the lack of mention of the involvement of Emory students in that historic struggle. A very small minority of students were active in the biracial Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (later subsumed in SNCC) during the fall, winter, and spring of 1960 to 1961. Emory students and a handful of Agnes Scott students participated in sit-ins, demonstrations, and picket lines (especially around Rich’s Department Store, where Dr. King was arrested) in downtown Atlanta with the students from the Atlanta University colleges. The Emory students were subject to expulsion if arrested (which the movement leadership allowed us to avoid) while the Scott women were subject to expulsion for mere participation. Thus, we had to pick them up on street corners in Decatur! Our membership included undergraduates, graduate students, and medical students. The high points included election day 1960, the confrontation with the Klan in late November, and the desegregation of the downtown lunch counters in March, 1961. The anticlimax came with Malcolm X’s appearance to denounce the achievement at the victory celebration. The Emory Wheel reflected majority opinion on campus, however, with its over-the-masthead editorial entitled “Radicals Threaten Emory’s Name” in the issue of November 10, 1960. It’s enough to raise a smile even now. Old times there are not forgotten!

Errol M. Clauss 61G 65PhD

Clemmons, North Carolina

The controversy over Dr. Braxton’s compensation (“The Audacious Thing”) looms larger to me than it does in the Emory Magazine article, where one might almost miss it. With that $600,000 figure in mind, I had a hard time appreciating the article’s description of his many accomplishments. Thank you for the article on the Emory Woman’s Club, especially since I know Blair Major and Eleanor Joslin. The article told me a lot about the club that I didn’t know. I also appreciated the mention of Randy Fort in Prelude. He was a family friend. Finally, thank you for the fine work you do on Emory Magazine. I always look forward to seeing it.

George Wiley 71T 78PhD

Baldwin City, Kansas

This article about an energetic, courageous African American pastor touches on the question of biblical support for the institution of human slavery. In fact, slavery existed as a global phenomenon despite, and perhaps partly as a result of, widespread geographical extension of both Christianity and Islam. Indeed the eleven million Africans taken trans-Atlantic to the “new world” fueled trade and industry enriching primarily the coffers of nations professing Christianity. The answer to this paradox lies in the concept of Progressive Revelation, elucidated in the mid-nineteenth century by Baha-u-llah. It is high time that a systematic, in-depth study of the life and teachings of this majestic, nineteenth-century, unschooled teacher and of the highly diverse worldwide Baha’i community of his followers be undertaken. Thank you for this stimulating and informative article on Reverend Brad Braxton and the opportunity to express thoughts generated by reading it.

Ashburn P. Searcy 59C

Kennesaw

Write to us

Has something in Emory Magazine raised your consciousness—or your hackles? Write to the editors at Emory Magazine, 1762 Clifton Road, Plaza 1000, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322, or via email at paige.parvin@emory.edu. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the administrators of Emory University.

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