The Athenaeum. (Atlanta, GA) 1898-1925, February 01, 1925, Image 16
158 THE ATHENAEUM! WASHINGTON PARK In order that men and women may get away from the hum-drum of the cities and in order that children may have adequate means of recreation and stay out of the streets, we have large plots of land taken care of by the city, which plots are called parks. In strategic points thruout the city there are several parks and numerous play grounds for the white people. Seeing the dire need of a park for colored and attempting to dodge the issue by giving us an excuse of a park we have the city laying out a few yards of the most unsanitary part of the city for a colored park. This so-called park is named Washington Park, a disgrace to the name of Booker T. Washington. There are two outstanding reasons why Washington Park is a disgrace to the name of Booker T. Washington and the Colored People Ji of Atlanta should see to it that it is either remeided or totally abolish ed. In the first place it isn’t properly located and it is unsanitary in every respect. Parks should be situated in wholesome environments where everything is conducive to the development of the youth of race. Washington Park is situated between two hills and at the foot of the city’s sewer system, the most unsanitary part of the city. Dur ing the past summer months the water in that pool, was changed only once per week and sometimes once in two weeks- The pool provid ing for arm space for about seventy-five was only a disease ex change since from two to three hundred per day swam in the same water for a week. # i In the second place the social aspect of the park has untold in fluence upon the youth of our race. At Washington Park there is no j moral code. All manner of vices and immoral purposes are carried on during the few summer months. Crapshooting and bootlegging I take the lead and profanity is the password of almost everybody. Be- j sides the bad effects it has upon the doers of these crimes who escape justice because police do not protect the park, it is a fine place for breeding of that element of our race which is undesirable. A young lad going to this park from a well-bred family has presented to him all the avenues of immorality and all he has to do is to choose one and he is irretrievably lost. The youths of today, our leaders of to morrow, already have presented to them too much of this kind of social life in such places as Beaver Slide, Lightning, and the Red Light Districts. It is up to us to create another sort of envirnoment for our youths.. JH B. J. Davis, editor of the Atlanta Independent, took the lead in I arousing sentiment against this place of evil. The Neighborhood 1 Union, headed by our own Mrs. John Hope, is now doing its part to- ■ ward the spreading of propaganda concerning it. Therefore, it is up i to us, men of Morehouse, to help create a new environment for our t youths and keep up such sentiment that when Spring puts on her 1 robe of green and when both young and old seek places of recreation p other than the fireside we will either have a decent place of recreation r for our race or the total abolition of this so-called Washington Park. —W. F. Crawl, ’26.