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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ruth Vick, 1973. Interview B-0057. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

SRC's involvement with desegregation in Atlanta

Vick describes how the SRC became involved with the desegregation battle in the Atlanta area and across the region. The SRC circulated documents in support of integration, observed demonstrations, and provided information to civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ruth Vick, 1973. Interview B-0057. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACQUELYN HALL:
After Little Rock, didn't the Council try to work with the business community in different towns …
RUTH VICK:
They did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
… to prevent that same kind of thing?
RUTH VICK:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did that work?
RUTH VICK:
Some of the superintendents and the school boards, they'd call us and ask us to send people to talk with them. And that actually happened.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But did they get businessmen in Atlanta? Did they work with the Atlanta business community ?
RUTH VICK:
I don't think so. They tried to talk to influential people and tell them that it would be stupid to try to defy the Court order, that they really should try to work to integrate the schools and keep things peaceful, because it was inevitable; it was coming. They knew it was coming.
JACQUELYN HALL:
The Atlanta business community did sort of try to keep …
RUTH VICK:
Well, they because there were the doctors said they wanted open schools; they didn't want any schools closed because of integration. There were several groups that came out, and there was a pretty good campaign going on. The Council had some part in it. What we did was to get these statements with all the names on there, and we had them printed and we sent them out all over the South, you see, showing people how many groups had signed this. [Omission]
BOB HALL:
In a campaign, like Martin Luther King in the Alabama campaign in Birmingham, what role would the Council play during that time?
RUTH VICK:
We had people over there.
BOB HALL:
Just observers? In terms of, if any arrests were made, Council members would be there to observe?
RUTH VICK:
on the spot, that's right.
BOB HALL:
But they wouldn't take part in the demonstrations,
RUTH VICK:
No.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you all work with Martin Luther King very much? Was he in and out of the Council?
RUTH VICK:
Yes, and they were always asking for certain information, materials, and things . I think everybody at the Council respected him.