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Race and Housing in the Postwar City: - page 13 / 23

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In Atlanta, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, white terrorists used dynamite to destroy the homes of African Americans who had moved into white fringe areas. In March 1951, for instance, dynamite bombings of several houses followed threats of violence against blacks moving into the East End section of the city, an area described by the black press as "being gradually taken over by Negroes, but with fierce opposition on the part of whites." New bombings occurred in Atlanta in June 1951, as dynamite destroyed several houses in the Mosely Park section, which also was undergoing racial transition. Actively promoting this street-level violence was a new white supremacy group known as the Columbians, which portrayed Atlanta's residential transitions as the result of a Jewish-communist conspiracy.26

The dynamics of neighborhood change sustained bombings and other racial violence throughout the early 1950s. In Miami, in

September, November,

and December

1951, dynamite blasts

destroyed portions of the Knight Manor apartment complex under­ going transition from white occupancy to black. The Ku Klux Klan

and ing, into

local neighborhood associations had been demonstrating, parad­

and "a

burning crosses for months to protest the intrusion of blacks

long

established

white

neighborhood."

The

bombings

brought critical media attention to Miami's racial "Dynamite Law Replaces Lynch Law," suggested the national magazine The Reporter in 1952. Hoping to close the

troubles: respected breach in

the

color

line,

the

Miami

city

commission

for

a

time

considered

buy­

ing Knight Manor project. However,

and turning it into a despite the bombings,

white-only public housing blacks seeking better hous­

ing persisted, and eventually all the whites Manor, now renamed Carver Village.27

moved

out

of

Knight

Elsewhere in the South, in September 1954, fourteen African American families purchased homes in the Coronado section of Norfolk, Virginia. Twenty additional families had purchased homes but had not yet moved in when mob violence began. Over several weeks, white night riders launched a reign of racist terror, bombing and burning houses in the neighborhood. Appeals for protection to the local police and the governor had little effect, but the new black

20

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