Special Marietta Black History Collection Edition!

Your February 2021
Community Update!

Don't Forget Senator Rhett
District 33

What's Happening
District 33!
Georgia Legislative Black Caucus 2021
Senator "Doc" Rhett GLBC Senate Deputy Whip
Attention All Veterans!

Senator Rhett's Veteran Bill SB 87 will allow people receiving a refund on their state income tax to check off and donate $1 dollar to support disabled veterans in the state of Georgia.

The bill has cleared the senate veterans committee and is on the way to the senate floor for a vote.

Follow Link Below
Senator Rhett's bills signed by the governor

  • Providing banking services to areas that are undeserved except for predatory lenders Senate Bill SB 20

The bill encourages banking services and consumer credit programs in under served communities. 

These under served communities are served by check cashing, payday loans, title loans, pawn shops, etc.  
Interest rates can go as high as 300%

  • Law enforcement liability coverage when rescuing children and animals locked in hot cars 

Senator Doc Rhett's Bill (SB 31) signed by the governor 
Watch Video

  • 2019-2020 Regular Session - HB 79
Blind persons; child custody rights

Free weapon permit for law enforcement officers who had to retire honorably because of a disability

It will increase the personal allowance allotted for people in nursing homes to purchase personal hygiene and toiletry items to $70 dollars a month.

They will now have more money for their personal needs 
It was attached to House Bill 206 adopted and signed by the governor.

The last increase was about 10 years ago!

Black History Month
Marietta, Georgia
Hugh Grogan
Marietta's First Black City Councilman

Mr. Grogan grew up in public housing in Marietta and attended all-black Lemon Street School. He studied at Morehouse College and St. John’s University in New York. He worked in the kidney dialysis unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, but in 1972 came home.

“He always felt a little homesick, and had always wanted to do something in the [Marietta] community,” said his son, Reece Grogan of Atlanta. “He went to high school here, and he wanted to elevate the life of black Americans.”

In the 1970s, he was part of a successful redistricting lawsuit civil rights activists filed against Marietta. The suit challenged the city’s ward map, saying it diluted black voting strength. It led to Grogan’s election as the first black councilman in Marietta. He served Ward 5 from 1978 to 1982.

“He is the reason we have Ward 5,” she said. “Even though he had only one vote on the council, he kept the community aware of everything going on, and certainly about anything that would affect us.”

In 1976 and 1978, Mr. Grogan served as president of the Marietta chapter of the NAACP. It became the Cobb branch in the 1980s. Bonner, the current president, said Mr. Grogan gave the organization a “silent” strength.
Marietta High's first black student looks back
Daphne Delk (Right Side)

MARIETTA — They don’t have the name recognition of Rosa Parks or Jackie Robinson, but there is a class of heroes spread out across the nation, each of whom made a decision to accept the scrutiny of being the first black student at a previously all-white school. For Marietta High School, that’s Daphne Delk, who integrated MHS in 1964 after spending her freshman year at the black-only Lemon Street High.

Delk was born in Marietta in 1949 to a father who worked in a steel mill and drove a taxi and a mother who worked as a maid.

“They instilled in us the vision to aspire to do better, and that’s where we kind of got the will and the want and the purpose to move on and upward,” she said. “They wanted us to be a little bit better than they were.

My father fought in World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, and he got to see a lot of things. When you’re in the war and you travel, you get to see more than what’s in your little hometown. I think through that, he knew there was better waiting for all of us.”

During her first year at Lemon Street High, Delk started questioning whether she was actually getting the right education. It was the 1960s, and some of her schoolbooks had been printed in the 1930s.

Delk talked about transferring schools with a friend, Treville Grady, and credited Treville’s mother, Katherine Grady, with helping them through the application process, during which they had to submit an essay and receive a physical examination.

Delk’s parents were not sure at first whether it was a good idea for her to go to Marietta High, worrying about bullying and racist attacks, but Delk said she convinced her father by showing him her obsolete textbooks.

“My daddy took me aside and he said, ‘Are you sure this is something you want to do?’ and I showed him the books,” she said. “I said ‘These books were published 30 years back that way. They’re not going to take me 30 years into the future.’ And I said, ‘I need to go where I can go to get what I need to be successful in the future and to compete in this world.’”

Both young women were admitted and began the 1964-65 school year at Marietta High. Grady dropped out after she became pregnant.

Marietta's First Black Woman School Board Member! (Left Side)
Jeanie Carter of Marietta began teaching at the segregated Lemon Street Elementary in 1957 at age 23.

In those days, Carter said once black students graduated from Lemon Street Elementary, they headed across the street to the segregated Lemon Street High, the only black high school in the county.

Carter transferred to Hickory Hills Elementary as its first black teacher in 1967. She retired from Marietta Middle School in 1991 and went on to serve 16 years on the Marietta Board of Education, the first black woman elected to public office in Marietta.

Carter laughed as she recalled the dated textbooks the black schools had to work with at the Lemon Street schools.

“We used to get those books and didn’t even have any space to write your name in it, there were so many (signatures). A student’s name from this school or that school — all those hand-me-downs.”

While they were both the first African- Americans to integrate a school, Carter believes Delk likely had a more challenging time being a student than she did as a teacher.

“Probably Daphne did, honey, because I was more mature to know what to expect and how to handle it, you know. So I think as an adult I could ignore a whole lot of stuff. She handled it pretty well, though.

She was a very conservative, business-type person. Not a whole lot of playing around and stuff. She was serious about what she was doing … a very good role model,” Carter said.

'You can, you can, you can':
Lemon Street alumni revisit grammar school
MDJ News
MARIETTA — Lemon Street Grammar School's doors were opened to the public Friday, giving visitors a look at the history of the school which served elementary-aged Black children during segregation. Marietta City Schools' night school began this week in the facility, and the Marietta Performance Learning Center and Marietta Alternative Programs will move there after the February break.

Informational displays are installed at the front and on the walls at the entrance of the building detailing the history of Lemon Street Elementary School and Lemon Street High School. Visitors also had the opportunity to listen to interviews from former students through Kennesaw State University's Lemon Street Oral History Collection.

Alumni who visited were appreciative that their school's history had been preserved. One of those was Alfreda Coleman-Hill, who attended the school in the 1950s. She said her teachers stressed to the children they could do anything they set their minds to.

The Lemon Street Schools Oral History Collection, Marietta City Schools System, 2019-2021
KSU Archives

To request permission to publish, reproduce, publicly display, broadcast, or distribute this material in any format outside of fair use please contact the Kennesaw State University Archives and/or copyright holder.

Related collections: Tap each one below:

Tap each name below to hear their story!

  • Anthony Coleman
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Marietta local Anthony Coleman.

  • Cheryl Long
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Marietta native Cheryl Long.

  • Dr. Michael Rhett (Audio: recovering from flu)
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Georgia State Senator Dr. Michael Rhett.

  • James C. Dodd, Jr.
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Cobb County local James Dodd, Jr.

  • Jeanie Martin Carter
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Marietta City Schools System educator and board member Jeanie Martin Carter.

  • Jennie Hill Gresham
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Cobb County local and retired Marietta City Schools System educator Jennie Hill Gresham.

  • Lorenzo Woods
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Marietta local and Navy veteran Lorenzo Woods.

  • Pearl Riley Freeman
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Marietta local Pearl Riley Freeman.

  • Sullivan Ruff, Jr.
  • Oral history interview and related materials of former Lemon Street High School principal Sullivan Ruff, Jr.

  • Tommie Hill Davis
  • Oral history interview and related materials of Cobb County native Tommie Hill Davis.

Mableton Improvement Coalition sends sharp letter to the Cobb school board

The Cobb County Board of Education has been under fire since three educators died of

At a contentious school board meeting two members and school Superintendent Chris Ragsdale refused to don masks during a moment of silence for the teachers, which made national news.

The Board of Directors of the Mableton Improvement Coalition sent a sharply-worded letter to the Cobb Board of Education criticizing the response by the school board to the deaths, and criticizing the board for what the letter describes as dysfunction.

Powder Springs envisions new downtown with 'cozy village' look
MDJ News
As the mayor begins the first year of his second term, one of Thurman’s main goals will be carrying out the city’s downtown urban redevelopment plan, a comprehensive vision to transform the sleepy blocks around Marietta Street into a vibrant community center.

The plan’s inaugural project was the construction of Thurman Springs Park in the heart of downtown, named for the mayor himself. The $4.1 million greenspace features an amphitheater and playground, and earned the city the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Great Place Award in 2020.

“We chose to do the park, as other cities have done, as sort of the catalyst,” said Mayor Pro Tem Henry Lust. His hope is that the park will serve as a centerpiece of the redevelopment, helping to bring commercial activity to the area.

“We don’t want to eradicate the look and feel of Powder Springs,” Lust said, noting that he wants to maintain a “cozy village atmosphere,” and preserve as much as possible the city’s historic structures
Cobb DA to establish 'expungement
help desk
MDJ News

Cobb District Attorney Flynn Broady is creating an “expungement help desk” that will assist those with criminal records in getting those records restricted or sealed “as Georgia law allows,” his office announced Monday.
The help desk will be the first of its kind in Georgia, according to his office, and will be staffed by lawyers and volunteers trained by the nonprofit Georgia Justice Project.

It will be housed in the circuit defender’s office and is expected to launch later this year, but a specific timeframe was not mentioned in the office’s announcement.

“Expungements must be done in the jurisdiction where the charge originated,” Cobb District Attorney spokeswoman Kim Isaza said in an email. “So, Cobb officials can only process requests for expungements (aka record restrictions) for charges that started with a Cobb-based law enforcement agency.”

Expungement refers to the process of sealing arrest and conviction records. In other words, once an arrest or conviction has been expunged, it need not be disclosed, including to potential employers or landlords.
State lawmakers recently expanded the pool of people eligible for records expungement.

“Georgia law has long allowed records of misdemeanor and felony arrests that did not result in convictions to be expunged,” Broady’s office said in its announcement of the help desk. The state’s “Second Chance Law,” which took effect Jan. 1, extends the possibility of expungement to those with nonviolent misdemeanor convictions and some people with pardoned felony convictions.

American Legion Update: Read Below
Attention All Veterans!

Senator Rhett's Veteran Bill SB 87 will allow people receiving a refund on their state income tax to check off and donate $1 dollar to support disabled veterans in the state of Georgia.

The bill has cleared the senate veterans committee and is on the way to the senate floor for a vote.
Hand Sanitizer 2
Cobb County COVID-19 Financial Relief Community Resources guide available

As our community continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, there are many resources available, including rental assistance, mortgage payment assistance, senior assistance and employment assistance. We developed a simple guide to help inform you on the resources available and how to access them.

Face masks now federally-required while traveling on transit system

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff issued an order on Jan. 29 requiring the wearing of masks by travelers to prevent spread of COVID-19. This order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m., Monday, Feb. 1.
Per the order, passengers will be required to wear masks when boarding, disembarking and for the duration of travel on the CobbLinc transit system. Passengers are also required to wear masks when entering or on the premises of the Marietta Transfer Center or the Cumberland Transfer Center.

For more information, visit the links below:

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Thursday, February 11, 2021
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Turner Chapel AME
492 North Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA 30060 

This vaccine is available for Turner Members Ages 65+ and their Caregivers

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2021 at 2:00 pm!

Everyone Must Register! NO WALK-INS!

Seniors in need invited to food distribution events; donate to help 

Cobb Senior Services staff will hold drive-up services for Cobb residents age 60 and older to get shelf stable food from 11 a.m. until noon, or while supplies last, on Friday, Feb. 12 and Feb. 26. An ID showing date of birth and Cobb County home address for each senior is required upon arrival. No appointment needed. The address is Cobb Senior Services, 1150 Powder Springs St., Marietta. 

You can help these distribution events continue by donating needed food and supplies. CSS staff is currently accepting donations by appointment only due to COVID-19. Please do NOT leave any items outside. Call 770-528-2009 to schedule a time for drop-off. To view a list of needed items, visit cobbseniors.org. 

If you would prefer to make a financial donation, click “Donate” at cobbseniors.org.
Register now for College Pathway: Financial Aid 101

Registration is open for the virtual College Pathway: Financial Aid 101 program hosted by Cobb Public Library staff at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 16. This free online program will be presented by Marcus Hilliard, outreach representative for the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

Hilliard will give overviews of federal and state aid programs, loans, grants and scholarships and college savings plans. Teens, young adults and parents are encouraged to attend. Registration is required. To register, visit ow.ly/Pvrv50DhA8b.  

For more information, contact Angela Mbagwu at angela.mbagwu@cobbcounty.org.
Take virtual tour of new library website 

Cobb Public Library staff launched a new website in January. Virtual Librarian Shannon Tyner gives a brief tour of the site and explains some exciting changes. The new site is more accessible, is ADA compliant and is fully translatable into many other languages using Google Translate. To watch the virtual tour, click here. 

Visit the new website at cobbcat.org.
Serving Community & Country!
Senator "Doc" Rhett

Georgia State Senator District 33

Master Sergeant Michael "Doc" Rhett
U. S. Air Force Reserves

Retired Educator

Doctorate Degree: University of Georgia (UGA)

American Legion Post 296 Marietta, Georgia

Officer/Trustee Turner Chapel AME Church Marietta, GA