Fred C. Bennette, Jr. collection
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Fred C. Bennette, Jr. collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Auburn Avenue Research Library
Creator: Bennette, Fred C., 1928-1994
Title: Fred C. Bennette, Jr. collection
Dates: Bulk, 1965-1980
Dates: 1962-1994 1965-1980
Quantity: 2.5 linear ft.
Abstract:The collection contains photographs, news articles, minutes, and other printed materials which documents Fred C. Bennette's involvement with the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta.
Identification: aarl002-003

Biographical/Historical Note

Reverend Fred C. Bennette, Jr. was born to Annie Mae (McDowell) and Columbus Bennette, Jr. on December 2, 1928 in Atlanta, Ga.

Mr. Bennette received his early childhood education in Atlanta's "Buttermilk Bottom" community where he grew up. After graduation from David T. Howard High School, Reverend Bennette joined the United States Army where he served for several years as Sergeant. After completing his military service, he returned to Atlanta where he attended Morris Brown College and the Turner Theological Seminary at Morris Brown. During this time Reverend Bennette was friends with A. D. King which led to the meeting of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1960. He was also a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church. This meeting led to many major accomplishments and significant involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta.

In 1960 Fred C. Bennette became a key organizer in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organization. In that same year he became staff coordinator for the Sit-In campaign to desegregate Rich's Department Store. From 1961 to1964 he served as the Director of the "All Citizens Committee for Voter Registration" and as the Deputy Director of the Georgia Voters League. In 1964 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appointed Reverend Bennette as the first Director of SCLC's Operation Bread Basket. This organization mobilized buying campaigns to pressure businesses and corporations to hire minorities. Fred Bennette served in this capacity until 1967. Reverend Bennette also served as interim Pastor (1964-1965) of the Mount Welcome Baptist Church which was then located in the Pittsburg Community of Atlanta.

After the Civil Rights Movement, Reverend Bennette continued his work as advisor on issues in the Black community to Jimmy Carter during his campaign and tenure as Governor of Georgia (1970-1976). He also served as a staff member and advisor to Congressman Andrew Young and during Young's tenure (1982-1989) as Mayor of Atlanta. Reverend Bennette was a member of the Board of Advisors for The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change and was the King Center's Security Director. He died in 1994 after a long and successful career as a civic leader.

Scope and Content Note

The collection of Fred C. Bennette covers the years 1960 to 1985. The collection contains photographs, news articles, and minutes, and other printed materials which documents Fred C. Bennett's involvement with Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta.


Series I: Printed Materials, [1966-1994 with gaps].

Series II: Minutes, [1962-1994].

Series III: Photographs, [1965-1990].

Series IV: News Clippings and Papers, [1966-1974, 1981].

Index Terms

Abernathy, Ralph, 1926-
African Americans--Civil rights.
Atlanta (Ga.)
Bennette, Fred C., 1928-1994
King family
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
S.C.L.C. Operation Breadbasket.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Young, Andrew, 1932-

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Item, series, Fred C. Bennette, Jr. collection, Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.


The Reverend Fred C. Bennett Collection was purchased by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History, Archives Division in 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Martin. Completed on 2003


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Container List


Series I: Printed materials, [1966-1994 with gaps]

Consists of a photocopy of Fred Bennette's obituary; business cards and certificates. The collection also includes program booklets, posters and flyers from The King Center and SCLS events. The weekly Unity newsletter is also among the items in this collection.



11Fred Bennette - Obituary Materials, 1994
2Fred Bennette - Certificate, 1979
3Fred Bennette - Business Cards, c. 1976
4Program - Mass Meeting, The Valley Christian Improvement Association, May 10, 1966

Series II: Minutes, [1962-1994]

From various Operation Bread Basket meetings from 1964 to 1966 which highlights the plans of many famed Civil Rights leaders to protest and mobilize marchers and voters during the height of the movement.



15Minutes and Correspondence - Operation Breadbasket, 1964-1967
6Minutes and Correspondence - Operation Breadbasket, 1965-1966
7Minutes - Operation Breadbasket, September, 1966-February, 1967
8Minutes - Operation Breadbasket, April, 1967
9Minutes - Minister's special called meeting Operation Breadbasket, October 13, 1967 October 17, 1967 October 19, 1967
10Program Booklets - King Week, 1988 1992 1994
11Miscellaneous News Clippings, 1965-1974
12Ephemeral Materials, 1966-1983
13Magazine Cover - Presbyterian Survey, Special Issue: Love Shall Overcome, June 1968
14SCLC Materials - 13 th Annual Drum Major for Justice Awards Dinner, April 4, 1992
SCLC Citizenship School Workbook, No Date



115Newsletters - Weekly Unity, Scattered 1962-1963

Series III: Photographs, [1965-1990]

Photographs documents Fred Bennette's involvement with the Civil Right Movement and the King family.



21Photograph -McGovern, Shivers Headquarters and car with Andy Young for Congress on the side, c. 1972
2Photograph - Fred Bennette; Jesse Hill, Jr.; Morris Connally and others at unidentified function., c. 1965
3Photographs - Unidentified Klu Klux Klan members, c. 1970
4Photograph - Fred Bennette and others at the Butler Street YMCA, c. 1965
5Photograph - Fred Bennette and unidentified women in restaurant, c. 1970
6Photograph - Fred Bennette and unidentified woman standing on dock of the Chesapeake Bay, No date
7Photograph - Fred Bennette at piano and unidentified women in restaurant, No date
8Photograph - Fred Bennette and unidentified man, 1972
9Photograph - Fred Bennette and unidentified man, c. 1980
10Photograph - Fred Bennette and unidentified man, c. 1985
11Photograph - Fred Bennette and unidentified man, c. 1975
12Photograph - Fred Bennette and unidentified man
13Martin Luther King, Sr. and Family, c. 1980
14Photograph - Fred Bennette Alveda King Beal and unidentified man, c. 1980
15Photograph - Fred Bennette and Alveda King Beal, c. 1978
16Photograph - Fred Bennette, Marty King and unidentified man, 1983
17Photograph - Marty King and various people, c. 1990
18Photograph - Fred Bennette with Dexter and Marty (?) King, c. 1985
19Photograph - Fred Bennette and Bernice King, c. 1980
20Photograph - Ralph David Abemathy, c. 1985
21Photograph - Fred Bennette and Burt Reynolds, c. 1980
22Photographs - Various photos of Fred Bennette, 1965-1990
23Photograph - Andrew Young and Unidentified man, c. 1990
24Photographs - Andrew Young, c. 1975
25Photograph - Andrew Young and family, c. 1980
26Photograph - Fred Bennette, Jean Young and others, c. 1970
27Photographs - Fred Bennette, Andrew Young and others, c. 1970
28Photographs - Fred Bennette with protest signs, 1985
29Photograph - Martin Luther King, Jr.; Rev. Walter Fauntroy, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and Fred Bennette during rally, c. 1965
30Photograph - Fred Bennette with casket possibly of Martin Luther King, Jr., c. 1968
31Photograph - Martin Luther King, Jr. at pulpit. Fred Bennette in background, c. 1966
32Photograph - Christine King Farris and family with Rev. Fred Bennette in Front of Ebenezer Baptist Church, c. 1965
33Photographs - Rev. Fred Bennette at pulpit, c. 1960
35Photograph - Rev Andrew Young and Rev. Fred Bennette, c. 1965
36Photograph - Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and Fred Bennette during press conference, c. 1965
37Photograph - Delores Bennette, Fred Bennette's daughter, c. 1965
38Photograph - Fred Bennette and Todd Evans (?), c. 1970
39 Photographs - Unidentified, Unknown

Series IV: New Clippings and Papers, [1966-1974 1981]

New Clippings and Papers from various African American news organizations in Atlanta dating from 1966 to 1981 which highlight Blacks in Atlanta Politics and the Civil Rights movement.


3Whole News Paper - Waycross Journal - Herald, May 18, 1966
Whole News Paper - Waycross Journal - Herald, May 19, 1966


3News Article - "Camera Catches Shooting Suspect and Victim" The Atlanta Journal, June 7, 1966
News Article - In Memoriam - Prophet Among Men" The Public Employee, April, 1968
News Article - "Massell's The Man" Victory Special, October 7, 1969
News Article - "Prominent Persons in Atlanta's Political Arena" The Afro-American, March 28, 1970
News Article - "Young's Congressional Staff " The Atlanta Inquirer, January 19, 1973
Whole Newspaper - The People's Crusader, January 12, 1973
Whole Newspaper - The People's Crusader, January 19, 1973
News Article - "Congress Man Young Organizes Staff" The Atlanta Inquirer, January 6, 1973
News Article - "If I Were Mayor" The Voice, March 17, 1973
News Article - "Ms. King Called Mother To Some And Friend To All" The Atlanta Daily World, July 5, 1974
Newspaper Ad - Women for Young Atlanta Constitution, October 5, 1981