The Atlanta Student Movement was formed between February and March 1960 in Atlanta by students of the campuses Atlanta University Center (AUC) and led by the Committee for the Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR) and was part of the Civil Rights Movement.
On February 5, 1960 Lonnie King and Julian Bond discussed the idea of following in the foot steps of the Greensboro sit-ins with the idea to organize similar actions in Atlanta. Lonnie King was summoned to the president's office where the presidents of all six Atlanta University Center (AUC) colleges challenged him and other students to write a document, rather than to proceed with immediate direct action such as organizing Sit-ins.
The students, while considering the proposal by the AUC presidents of the creation of a document a delaying tactic, did begin work on such a document. They formed a committee that drafted an appeal to describe both their complaints as well as their desired goals for proposed change. This Committee on Appeal for Human Rights focused their document An Appeal for Human Rights on putting an end to the unjust system of racial segregation that was present in every aspect of their society—something the students would simply no longer stand by and accept.
These Atlanta students considered it to be the right time for change, considered the changes achievable by nonviolent means, and began to lead over mostly objections expressed by their elder community leaders, who strongly preferred a more conservative approach, such as litigation through the courts.
Lonnie King, Julian Bond, Roslyn Pope, Herschelle Sullivan, Carolyn Long, Frank Smith, Joseph Pierce, among others students formed the original Committee on Appeal for Human Rights which drafting An Appeal for Human Rights which was originally published on March 9, 1960.
Within six days of the publication of An Appeal for Human Rights, the students began the Atlanta Student Movement sit-ins on March 15, 1960, which were an integral part of the 1960s sit-in movement of the Civil Rights Movement.
The original work begun by members of the Atlanta Student Movement continues into the present, with periodic reviews in 2000, and 2010. These include the 40th Anniversary An Appeal for Human Rights v.II, 2010 - An Appeal for Human Rights vIII) by means of a review, reflection, and revision process by original members of COAHR.
Along with the lasting social effects that the Movement brought about, a more tangible legacy can be found near the West End of Atlanta, where Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard (formerly Fair Street) cuts through campus of Clark Atlanta University. The street was named as such in a dedication ceremony on November 1, 2010, hosted by Kasim Reed, the Mayor of Atlanta.
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