Willard L. Strickland papers
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Willard L. Strickland papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Auburn Avenue Research Library
Creator: Strickland, Willard L., 1922-1989
Title: Willard L. Strickland papers
Dates: [ca. 1960]-1989
Quantity: 2.0 boxes
Quantity: 1 linear ft.
Abstract:The papers date from the 1960s to 1989 and consist of photographs, news clippings, and memorabilia related to Willard L. Strickland's career as a police officer in Atlanta and Decatur, Georgia and his role integrating the Decatur Police Dept.
Identification: aarl96-009

Biographical/Historical Note

Willard Strickland, one of Atlanta's original eight black police officers, was born in the city he served on August 19, 1922. He attended Oglethorpe Elementary, Atlanta University Laboratory High School and Morehouse College before joining the United States Army during World War II. Mr. Strickland left the Atlanta Police Department in 1961 and joined the Decatur Police Department in 1964. He helped to integrate the Decatur Police Department and was there until 1969. Willard Strickland then relocated to Manhattan, New York where he worked for the United States Postal Service for twenty-two years. During his life Mr. Willard Strickland received several awards including an "Outstanding Service Award" given by the United States Postal Service and a "NAACP Honor Award" for outstanding contributions to the Atlanta Community. Mr Willard L. Strickland departed this life on November 1, 1989.

Scope and Content Note

This small collection contains mementoes given by Ms. Ethelrene Culbreath. Included in these items are photographs, programs, an acceptance speech, a handmade book mark and a news article on the "Atlanta Eight".


Arranged by type.

Index Terms

African American police--Georgia--Atlanta.
African American police--Georgia--Decatur.
Atlanta (Ga.)--Race relations.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Decatur (Ga.)--Race relations.
Decatur (Ga.). Police Dept.. -- Employees
Discrimination in employment--Georgia--Atlanta.
Discrimination in employment--Georgia--Decatur.
Race discrimination--Georgia--Atlanta.
Race discrimination--Georgia--Decatur.
Strickland, Willard L., 1922-1989

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Willard L. Strickland papers. Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.


This small collection contains mementoes given by Ms. Ethelrene Culbreath.


Restrictions of Access

There are no restrictions on the research use of this collection.

Restrictions on Use

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

Container List




11Ephemeral Item Original Service Award Document presented to Willard Strickland from Governor Lester Maddox, January 11, 1968
2Ephemeral Item United States Postal Service belt (Black with gold buckle - inscribed - United States Postal Service - U.S. Mail)
3Ephemeral Item Atlanta NAACP Award presented Willard Strickland "For Outstanding Contributions to the Atlanta Community - For devoted efforts and achievements as a Public Servant.", November 3, 1977
4Ephemeral Item City of Decatur Police Uniform Patch
5Ephemeral Item City of Atlanta Police Captains Badge



21Programs, 1977 1989
Funeral Program - Funeral Services for Mr. Willard Lay Strickland, Seller Brothers Chapel, November 4, 1989
The Atlanta NAACP Community Coordination Communities Salutes Atlanta's First Black Police Officers, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, November 3, 1977, 2 copies
The Butler Street YMCA Boys Branch Board of Trustees Presents The First Black Police Officers Award Program, (No date or place)
Hand made bookmark contains Willard Strickland's obituary from the newspaper
Acceptance speech made by Willard Strickland during awards ceremony
3News Article "Pioneer Officer Expires", (no date or source)
4News Article Heys, Sam, "Atlanta's finest cross the color line: First Black cops face uphill battle," The Atlanta Constitution, October 21, 1985
5Photograph Color tinted photograph of Willard L. Strickland, ca. 1960's
6Photograph Willard L. Strickland - black and white, ca. 1980
7Photograph Willard Strickland with Valerie and Maynard Jackson - black and white, ca. 1977
8Photographs, [ca. 1980]
Reginald Eaves and Willard Strickland standing side by side - black and white - Count Jackson, Photographer, ca. 1980
Reginald Eaves and Willard Strickland shacking hands black and white - Count Jackson, Photographer, ca. 1980
9Photograph Framed photograph - Reginald Eaves and Willard Strickland standing side by side - black and white - taken by count Jackson, ca. 1980
10Photograph NAACP Honor Dinner - Willard Strickland, Irene Strickland Culbreath (sister), Ethelrene Culbreath (niece) and Verlyn Strickland, (sister-in-law), November 3, 1977