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Ga. utility has no records of 1946 killings of black men

An article from the Atlanta Daily World about the shooting of Madison Harris.
An article from the Atlanta Daily World about the shooting of Madison Harris.ATLANTA DAILY WORLD

Georgia Power officials say the company has no records of the 1946 deaths of two black veterans at the hands of white conductors on its segregated Atlanta streetcar lines.

Still, the utility said it has “worked diligently to build a culture of inclusion and respect for both our employees and customers,” and would continue to participate in efforts to honor the history of the communities it serves.

The comments came in response to a Boston Sunday Globe story about the efforts of Northeastern University students to document killings from the Jim Crow era.

READ THE STORY: Students uncover forgotten killings from Jim Crow era

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Georgia Power ran the segregated Atlanta streetcars whose white conductors fatally shot Madison Harris and Walter Lee Johnson, both World War II veterans, in 1946. Charges against the conductors were dismissed without trial by a white judge.

Jacob Hawkins, a Georgia Power spokesman, wrote to the Globe that because no records could be found in its files, “it is not appropriate for us to comment on the creation of public plaques or memorials to mark these events specifically.” However, he added, the company is “committed to the remembrance and observance of historical events of importance in the South, such as the civil rights movement, through support of initiatives such as the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.”


Brian MacQuarrie
can be reached at macquarrie@globe.com.