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Donald Hollowell (1917-2004)

@ New Georgia Encyclopedia

Hatfield, Edward A


Encyclopedia article about Donald Hollowell, one of a handful of black lawyers practicing civil rights law in the 1950s and 1960s, who was instrumental in the movement to desegregate public institutions throughout Georgia. Hollowell provided counsel to student activists during the Atlanta sit-ins, defended Martin Luther King Jr. and other demonstrators as part of the Albany Movement, and successfully litigated the landmark case integrating the University of Georgia. In 1966 he became the first African American regional director of a major federal agency when U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to oversee the southeastern regional office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Born in 1917 in Wichita, Kansas, Hollowell dropped out of high school to help support his family during the Great Depression. In 1935 he enlisted in the army, where he served in the segregated Tenth Cavalry Regiment, better known as the Buffalo Soldiers and reached the rank of Private First Class Specialist Five by 1938. He then withdrew from regular service to continue his education at Lane College, an all-black school in Jackson, Tennessee, where he excelled in the classroom and on the athletic field as a three-sport athlete. Hollowell was recalled to active service in 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which resulted in the United States entering World War II. Hollowell was stationed at Fort Benning before deployment overseas and then transferred to the European theater, where he again served with distinction, rising to the rank of captain by war's end. After the...
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New Georgia Encyclopedia

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Digital Library of Georgia