American Renaissance

Racial Tensions Persist in King’s Back Yard

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Confronts Cobb County

Alan Sverdlik, Washington Post, Feb. 14

ATLANTA — It is only a dozen miles from the offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to the Cobb County border, but as soon as Interstate 75 crosses the line it takes the name of a late congressman and John Birch Society member who accused the civil rights movement of having communist ties.

The Larry MacDonald Highway, however, is not the only symbol of white resistance within close range of the organization founded by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. A bit up the highway from the MacDonald marker is a bridge named for the late Georgia governor and segregationist Lester Maddox, who chased African Americans out of his restaurant with an ax handle and retired to Cobb when his political career ended.

On Sunday, with the oratory of the January King holiday still in the air and Black History Month in full throttle, the SCLC is scheduled to open a branch in Cobb County, a devoutly conservative boom-town suburb. In announcing the expansion into Cobb, the chapter president vowed to lead a series of marches--whether the county granted the SCLC a permit or not--against the interstate markers and alleged racial profiling and employment discrimination.

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