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The Seattle Open Housing Campaign, 1959-1968 - Home
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The Seattle Open Housing Campaign, 1959-1968

October 15, 1963
Seattle City Council Public Hearing on Open Housing

Testimony of John Hurst Adams, Chairman of Central Area Committee for Civil Rights (mp3, 359k)

Kenneth Colman: As our first speaker, Dr. Rev. John H. Adams, who is chairman of the Central Area Committee for Civil Rights, is representing the entire Negro community and wishes to present their view.

John Hurst Adams: Thank you, Mr. Colman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Mayor, Mrs. Edwards, members of the Council. The Central Area Committee on Civil Rights, which is composed of CORE, the NAACP, the Urban League, community leaders, Protestant and Catholic clergymen, believe that the inalienable and self-evident rights of American citizens are not to be debated, or to be negotiated, but to be fulfilled. The problems of prejudice, segregation and discrimination in America are the moral problems of the white community. We know this and you know this.

Your right and resolute action is the only answer and your capacity to take that action is the only debate. On the one hand is your conscience and the Constitution. On the other hand are bigotry, fear, and cowardice. One leads to good will, understanding, and the American dream. The other leads to the bitterness, suspicion, and distrust of another generation of broken promises.

A clear choice is yours. We are leaving this hearing for you to make your decision in calmness, in love, and without rancor. We simply await your judgment.

Courtesy: CD 55, 56 and 57. Seattle City Council Audio Recordings, 4601-03. Seattle Municipal Archives.

John Hurst Adams Nancy McGhee Eileen Meacham Thomas W. Miller

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