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This Day in Georgia History

December 02, 1953

Rufus Clement Elected to Atlanta B.O.E.

Atlanta University president Dr. Rufus Clement won a decisive election to the Atlanta Board of Education, defeating white incumbent T.H. Landers, who had served on the board since 1927. Clement, who had the support of many white leaders in Atlanta, described his victory as proof that “the white population is ready to work constructively with the Negro population.” After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, Clement became a proponent of a “go slow, go easy” path to integration that helped Atlanta avoid the confrontations over desegregation that developed in many other southern cities.