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Although the southern civil rights movement first hit the national headlines in the 1950s and 1960s, the struggle for racial equality in America had begun long before.

The manipulative behavior of the city government, hiding behind its slogan of "the City Too Busy to Hate," coupled with the hesitant support of Atlanta's traditional black leadership, however, prevented the movement from securing a swift end to segregation.Community leaders in Savannah and Atlanta protested the segregation of public transport at the turn of the century, and individual and community acts of resistance to white domination abounded across the state even during the height of lynching and repression.Atlanta washerwomen, for example, joined together to strike for better pay, and black homes often contained guns to fight off the Ku Klux Klan.Furthermore, the political tumult of the World War II era, as the nation fought for democracy in Europe, presented an ideal opportunity for African American leaders to press for racial change in the South.As some black leaders pointed out, the notorious German leader Adolf Hitler gave racism a bad name.planned an attempt to vote in the July 4, 1944, Democratic primary.

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