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Fred C. Bennette, Jr. collection

Identifier: aarl002-003

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.


  • Majority of material found within Bulk, 1965-1980
  • Bulk, 1965-1980 1962-1994 1965-1980


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.

Historical Sketch

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.


2.5 Linear feet




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.


  1. Series I: Printed Materials, [1966-1994 with gaps].
  2. Series II: Minutes, [1962-1994].
  3. Series III: Photographs, [1965-1990].
  4. Series IV: News Clippings and Papers, [1966-1974, 1981].


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

Inventory of the Fred C. Bennette, Jr. Collection aarl002-003 aarl002-003
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
2004 September 15
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303