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  Georgia had some great Black lawyers during the 1950's and 60's.  The list included but was not limited to Donald Hollowell, C.B. King and Howard Moore.  No white lawyer in the state could touch any of them.  Since too many Blacks detest history, these attorneys will be forgotten soon.  They are my role models.

            During the 1960's I was told that Howard Moore was leaving Georgia and was heading to California.  This was puzzling since Moore seemingly had a lucrative law practice in Georgia.  He was the brother-in-law of Julian Bond and he had successfully argued Floyd v. Bond in the U.S. Supreme Court. 

            Moore detected the emergence of Black menticide in Atlanta.  Ignorance had become a burden.  Lines of communications with other Blacks in Georgia had become difficult if not impossible. It was financially difficult to continue recharging batteries with dead brain cells. 

            Moore had also represented Kwame Ture, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin and Cleveland Sellers during their SNCC days.  I modeled my work habits after him.  On occasion, I would talk to him late at night at Paschal's during his coffee breaks.  His law office was located at 859 ½ Hunter Street (MLK Dr.) in Atlanta. 

            After having to flee the University of Georgia Law School for being too Black, I attended Boston College Law School.  After graduating law school, I would eventually move to Harlem.  At a legal services program in Harlem, I had daily contact with my people.  I also observed menticide.  At Howard University, I was first introduced to the notion that Negroes were "deaf, dumb and blind” by the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. 

            When I first heard the reference, I rejected it.  After all, I was attending Howard University, the "capstone of Negro education." This was a haven for the Black bourgeoisie as told by E. Franklin Frazier.  There was no way that Negroes were "deaf, dumb and blind.”  Harlem reshaped my thinking. 

             I started a life long pursuit of reversing this plight of Blacks.  First, I had to prove, in New York City, that Black lawyers were not only competent but also zealous.  Blacks were invited to courtrooms to see me win long-shot cases and destroy the myth that only whites could defend them in courtrooms. 

             Secondly, I had to find a venue, to house a center of learning and critical thinking.  It would eventually become the Slave Theater.  This venue was an unfulfilled dream of both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois except for the name --Slave Theater. 

            It is nearly impossible to maintain a weekly assembly featuring leading scholars, authors, orators and activists from around the world.  There was no other Black organization in the tristate area featuring weekly political assemblies.  A social club or an entertainment center operates differently from a learning center.          

             In the meantime, it has become more difficult to inspire the Black masses to read with comprehension.  Kwame Ture, my schoolmate at Howard University, demanded that I make sacrifices to give Blacks a political education.  Ture had also sacrificed for Blacks.  Since 1965, Blacks, en masse, have been not only financing their own oppression but have also been endorsing it.

 

Alton Maddox Needs Your HELP!

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Please send check or money order, made payable to “Alton H. Maddox, Jr.,” and mail to the address listed below.  There are more writings to come even though you may be getting them “free.”Ignorance of the law is no defense. “Freedom is not free.” It costs Alton Maddox to research and write these articles.  The need for a “militant” and “uncompromising advocate” and an “educator with vision” in the Black community still exists.

 

                                    Alton H. Maddox, Jr.

                                    P.O. Box 35

                                    Bronx, NY 10471

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