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William G. Anderson (b. 1927)

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Creator:Hatfield, Edward A.
Title:William G. Anderson (b. 1927)

Encyclopedia article about William Gilchrist Anderson, who received national attention during the early 1960s as the president of the Albany Movement. Thereafter, he distinguished himself as an osteopathic physician, surgeon, educator, and hospital administrator. Born in Americus on December 12, 1927, to Emma Jean Gilchrist and John Daniel Anderson Sr., Anderson enrolled at Fort Valley State College (later Fort Valley State University), where he pursued a premedical course of study. His education was interrupted in 1944 when, at the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the midst of World War II; he was eventually assigned to a company stationed in the Philippines and was selected to join the navy's Hospital Corpsmen. After the war ended, Anderson graduated from the Atlanta College of Mortuary Science and worked briefly at a black funeral home in Montgomery, Alabama. Later after a visit to the Albany office of physician Willie Joe Reese, Anderson decided to pursue a career in osteopathy. With Reese's assistance, Anderson was admitted to the Des Moines Still College of Osteopathy in Iowa and completed his degree in 1956.

He interned at the prestigious Flint Osteopathic Hospital in Michigan, returning to Georgia afterwards to set up his medical practice in Albany. There Anderson joined a small but close-knit community of black professionals, most of whom belonged to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Urban League, or the Criterion Club, a local civic organization. The arrival of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists in the fall of 1961 inspired Albany's black residents to press more aggressively for racial reform. The city's black leaders formed the Albany Movement in mid-November, and they selected Anderson as their president because he was relatively new to town and largely insulated from white economic reprisals by his private practice. As tensions escalated he became convinced that local leaders lacked the financial and organizational resources to mount a successful protest. In order to shore up the movement's weaknesses, Anderson invited his old friends Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy to lead demonstrations in Albany. Although many observers deemed the Albany Movement unsuccessful, subsequent appraisals have credited the movement with increasing the number of registered black voters, inspiring protest in neighboring communities, and hastening the ultimate desegregation of Albany's public facilities, which occurred only one year following the movement's conclusion. Following the Albany Movement's dissolution in 1962, Anderson accepted an appointment as house physician at Art Centre Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. In 1964 he became the first black surgical resident in Detroit's history, and thereafter conducted a group surgical practice in the city until 1984. During this period he remained active in the civil rights movement, serving as a member on the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's board of directors, among other capacities.

In the years that followed, Anderson accepted a variety of administrative and educational positions in the medical profession including service within the American Osteopathic Association (including becoming the first African American president of the AOA in 1994), as a clinical professor of surgery at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (later Western University of Health Sciences) in California, as an associate clinical professor at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and as associate dean of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.

Subjects:Anderson, William G., 1927- | Anderson, Norma L. (Norma Lee) | Reese, Willie Joe | King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | Abernathy, Ralph, 1926-1990 | African American physicians--Georgia--Albany | African American physicians--Michigan--Detroit | African American educators | African American surgeons | Osteopathic physicians--United States | Osteopathic physicians--Georgia | Physicians--Georgia--Albany | Physicians--Michigan--Detroit | Physicians--United States | Surgeons--United States | Educators--United States | Medical offices--Georgia--Albany | Medical offices--Michigan--Detroit | African American business enterprises--Georgia--Albany | Drugstores--Georgia--Albany | Fort Valley State College (Ga.) | United States. Navy | United States. Navy. Hospital Corps | Sailors--United States | African American sailors--United States | African American sailors--Philippines | Sailors--Philippines | United States. Navy--Medical care | Atlanta College of Mortuary Science | Undertakers and undertaking--Georgia--Atlanta | Undertakers and undertaking--Alabama--Montgomery | Still College of Osteopathy | Flint Osteopathic Hospital (Mich.) | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People | Urban League of Albany (Ga.) | Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.) | Southern Christian Leadership Conference | American Osteopathic Association | College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific | Michigan State University. College of Osteopathic Medicine | Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine | Civil rights--Georgia--Albany | Civil rights--United States | Civil rights movements--Georgia--Albany | Civil rights demonstrations--Georgia--Albany | Bus terminals--Georgia--Albany | Civil rights workers--Georgia--Albany | Civil rights workers--United States | Civic leaders--Georgia--Albany | Civic leaders--United States | African American civil rights workers--Georgia--Albany | African American civic leaders--Georgia--Albany | African American political activists--Georgia--Albany | Political activists--Georgia--Albany | African Americans--Civil rights | African Americans--Civil rights--Georgia--Albany | Political participation--Georgia--Albany | African Americans--Politics and government | Direct action--Georgia--Albany | Protest marches--Georgia--Albany | Nonviolence--Georgia--Albany | Voter registration--Georgia--Albany | Voting--Georgia--Albany | Suffrage--Georgia--Albany | Segregation in education--Georgia--Albany | Segregation in transportation--Georgia--Albany | Discrimination in public accommodations--Georgia--Albany | Discrimination in restaurants--Georgia--Albany | Race discrimination--Georgia--Albany | Race relations | Albany (Ga.)--Race relations--History--20th century | Albany (Ga.)--History--20th century | Albany (Ga.)--Politics and government--20th century | High school teachers--Georgia--Atlanta | African American teachers--Georgia--Atlanta | African American disc jockeys--Georgia-Atlanta | Disc jockeys--Georgia--Atlanta | African American professional employees--United States | African American professional employees--Georgia--Albany | Professional employees--United States | Professional employees--Georgia--Albany | Albany Movement (Albany, Ga.) | Harlem Cut-Rate Drugs (Albany, Ga.) | World War, 1939-1945--African Americans | World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Philippines | World War, 1939-1945--Medical care | Criterion Club (Albany, Ga.) | Art Centre Hospital (Detroit, Mich.) | Albany (Ga.) | Dougherty County (Ga.) | Atlanta (Ga.) | Fulton County (Ga.) | Montgomery (Ala.) | Montgomery County (Ala.) | Detroit (Mich.) | Wayne County (Mich.) | Kirksville (Mo.) | Adair County (Mo.) | Des Moines (Iowa) | Polk County (Iowa) | Philippines | Americus (Ga.) | Sumter County (Ga.)
Collection:New Georgia Encyclopedia
Institution:New Georgia Encyclopedia
Contributors:New Georgia Encyclopedia (Project) | Georgia Humanities Council | University of Georgia. Press | Merrill-Hall New Media | GALILEO (Georgia statewide project)
Online Publisher:2007-11-29
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