Roslyn Pope

By Amanda Brown

In 1960, Roslyn Pope was a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She had recently returned from a study abroad trip in Paris, France. While in Paris, Pope was finally able to experience what it felt like to be treated as an equal individual, and she was not prepared to go back to a life divided by color. Upon returning to the United States, Roslyn Pope experienced a deep level of anger towards the stagnation of the racial tension.

Pope was finally able to experience what it felt like to be treated as an equal individual, and she was not prepared to go back to a life divided by color
Pope was approached in Yates and Milton Drugstore by the soon-to-be leaders of the Atlanta Student Movement, Lonnie King and Julian Bond. King and Bond were trying to recruit individuals to be a part of a movement that would initiate the aid in ending segregation. Little did the two men know that they had just met the woman who would be the main author of the document that would come to define the movement they were bringing together.

Pope’s document, An Appeal for Human Rights, detailed a set of grievances that collectively represented the rights that should be given to this marginalized group. It covered topics that dealt with education, jobs, medical treatment, public venues, voting, housing, and treatment by law enforcement officers. The document had been drafted the night before it was to be presented to the head faculty members of the different schools that had students involved in the movement.

An Appeal for Human Rights was written and published as a response to the NAACP, asking the students to let them continue this battle for them within the court system. The document was a clear statement to all those that were weary that the students were ready to be heard, so that the world could change.

…the students were ready to be heard, so that the world could change.
Along with Pope, each of the involved student leaders from the Atlanta colleges signed the final document.The document would go on to be published many times, and was considered to be one of main attributors to the success of the sit-ins.