Wednesday, March 18, 2015

J W Dobbs, Atlanta GA


History Atlanta

J W Dobbs was a well-known African American political leader in Atlanta.

Unable to seek meaningful public office himself because of the prejudiced political system in the early 20th century, Dobbs instead became a “king-maker,” wielding a block of up to 10,000 African American votes that would reliably be cast for the candidate endorsed by Dobbs.

He became the Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons and was responsible for building an impressive Masonic Lodge on Auburn Avenue.

Photo: R. Keen

On the top of this marble step is carved “J. W. Dobbs,” marking the approach to his solid, upper middle-class home.

Houston Street was the old name for John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, which was renamed for him in 1994, 33 years after his death.


In honor of Dobbs a large statue of his face, in the form of a mask, was installed at the intersection of Auburn Avenue and Fort Street.

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