Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



First Advisor

Dr. C. A. Bacote


The purpose of this research is to recount and analyze the role of the Atlanta Urban League in securing the Negro hospital—Hughes Spalding Pavilion of the Grady Hospital Center. The campaign took place in the late 1940's when Atlanta was strictly segregated, and non-indigent Negroes had only small private hospital facilities with no place for training Negro physicians. The Hill-Burton Act provided the impetus for the cooperation of the League and the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority in the struggle for the hospital. Mrs. Grace Towns Hamilton as Executive Secretary of the League, and Mr. Hughes Spalding as Chairman of the Authority combined their efforts and enlisted the support of local and national Negro and white leaders in this successful campaign for a Negro hospital.

While employing the techniques of oral history and the historical method, the investigator interviewed several prominent Atlantans including doctors and other professionals to ascertain the lifestyle of Negroes in Atlanta in the 1940's as well as the plight of the Negro insofar as medical facilities were concerned. The bulk of the material on the Atlanta Urban League was found in the Grace Hamilton Collection at Atlanta University, although the minutes of the League proved to be an invaluable source and may be examined by permission at the Atlanta Urban League offices.