Wednesday, January 30, 2013
CITY COUNILMEMBER MICHAEL JULIAN BOND REMEMBERS RODNEY MIMS COOK, SR.
– Atlanta lost a civic titan Sunday night when Rodney Mims Cook, Sr. passed
away at the age of 88. Cook, whose family has a long history of civic and
political engagement at the state and local level, served as both a city
alderman and as a member of the Georgia General Assembly.
a state legislator, Cook took the lead in the fight for civil rights. In
1962 he introduced a resolution calling for the demolition of the concrete
barrier in southwest Atlanta known as the “Peyton Wall.” He challenged
myriad discriminatory policies in place on the state and local levels. Due
to his efforts, Cook faced threats and intimidation from white supremacist
groups including threats to bomb his home and kidnap his children.
Julian Bond, one of eight African-Americans elected to the state House of
Representatives in 1965, was denied his seat, , Cook was one of five white
representatives who voted to seat Bond. It ultimately took a ruling by the
U.S. Supreme Court to order the Georgia General Assembly to seat Representative
family is forever grateful for Mr. Cook’s bravery and righteous fervor in
defense of my father during a very frightening and difficult time,” said
Councilmember Michael Julian Bond. “He possessed a type of courage that cannot
be taught but from which much can be learned. This city is a better place
because of Mr. Cook’s effort – and can be made even greater if we follow his
his career, Cook, a decorated WW II veteran, advocated for the City of Atlanta
by lobbying state and federal authorities for proper appropriations to allow for
the region’s rapid growth throughout the 1960s and 70s.
son, Rodney Mims Cook, Jr. is the leading force behind the planned Mims Park in
Vine City, which gained City Council approval last year. Cook is survived
by his wife, Lane, and their two daughters, Jody and Laura Cook, a son, Rodney
Mims Cook, Jr., and three grandchildren.