John Wesley Dobbs

Listen here »

Shoe shine boy, college drop out, post office clerk, fighter for equal rights. Marietta native John Wesley Dobbs didn’t let his poor childhood keep him down.

He kept pushing ahead when his mother was sick and he had to drop out of college. He kept at his post office job for 32 years. And he kept on… trying to make Atlanta a better place for blacks starting in the early 1900s.

Dobbs was middle aged when he founded the Atlanta Civic and Political League in 1936, and helped start the Atlanta Negro Voters’ League ten year’s later. With Dobb’s help, the Voters’ League once gathered 18,000 votes in less than two months.

Along the way Atlanta leaders took notice. In 1948, Atlanta mayor William Hartsfield kept a promise to Dobbs by hiring the city’s first black police officers. The eight officers could not arrest whites and could only patrol in black neighborhoods, but it was a start.

Dobbs died in 1961 on the same day that Atlanta city schools were desegregated. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at his funeral and Thurgood Marshall, future Supreme Court justice, was a pallbearer. Dobbs grandson Maynard Jackson was there, too….. he’d later become Atlanta’s first black mayor because, in part, of his grandfather’s work for racial justice.

For more information, visit the following:

www.georgiaencyclopedia.com
www.aaregistry.com

Lastest News from WABE 90.1 FM

Gaza Conflict Day 16: Here's What You Need To Know

Amid another day of fighting, Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Tel Aviv on Wednesday and began a whirlwind session of shuttle diplomacy.

As NPR's Michelle Kelemen, who is traveling with Kerry...

Conflicting Obamacare Rulings Set Stage For Supreme Court Face-Off

Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting views of the subsidies available under Obamacare. The problem is the language in one subsection of the 950-page law — boiling down to just three words.

5 Managers Detained In Shanghai Expired-Meat Scandal

Chinese regulators suspended operations at Shanghai Husi Food, owned by Illinois-based OSI group. State media reported that stale meat was packaged for sale under "tacit approval" of senior managers.