"A little about our founding members"
The Atlanta Chapter was organized in February of 1951 through the effort of Mrs. Elizabeth Macomson, a teacher at Spelman College. An Albany chapter member suggested to her that our city should establish this mother’s organization. Initially, it was a small group of mothers thatwere affiliated with the various schools in the Atlanta University Center Consortium. Mrs. Helen Bell Robinson Brooks, a colleague, invited the group to organize in her home at 988 Westmoor Drive.
The first members were as follows: Betty Boyd Mapp, Ernestine Brazeal, Miriam Burney, Harriet Chisholm, Ernestine Comer, Billie Davis, Grace DeLorme, Louis Eagleson, Jacqueline Frye, Sadie Gaines, Ann Graves, Gertrude Hackney, Marge Harper, Freddye Henderson, Dorthea Hill, Juliette Jackson, Ruth Jackson, Gladys Powell, Ruth Scott, Marion Scott, Clara Singleton, Juanita Smith, Lavada Smith, Helen Westerfield, Virginia Whatley, Beatrice Williams and Irene Wilson.
By installation time on September 16, 1951, there were 34 mothers in the Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill. Mrs. Elizabeth Seay of Buffalo, New York, national president of the Jack and Jill of America for that year, flew in for the installation, as she was touring recently established chapters in the south. Mrs. Seay stressed the “value emotional stability and security play, in developing healthy and happy children” that would become the parents of tomorrow.
By the middle and late 1950’s, the chapter mothers and children were established in charity projects. During this period the children sent woolen mittens to needy children in a foreign country selected by the American Friends Committee. They carried gifts to hospitalized children. The project of the year for the mothers was an Annual Charity Ball to raise mothers. The mothers participated in the Polio March, and they adopted needy families.
A founder, Helen Robinson Brooks stated recently that finding activities for the children that were entertaining, education and mind grabbing was a real challenge for the mothers. The Atlanta chapter children were the first Black children to participate in a then popular WSB-TV puppet shower called “Woody Willow”. Activity was a key word for the children who swam, played basketball, softball and other seasonal sports on Saturdays at the UYMCA. There were monthly meetings with dramatics, soap carving, sewing, dancing music and games. There were monthly meetings with dramatics, soap carving, sewing, dancing, music and games. By the middle and late 1950s, the chapter mothers and children were established in charity projects. During this period, the children sent woolen mittens to needy children in a foreign country selected by the American Friends Committee. They carried gifts to hospitalized children.
The Atlanta Chapter has had several members serve in leadership positions at the national and regional levels of Jack and Jill. Dr. Miriam C. Shropshire was the elected 9th National President of Jack and Jill from 1970-74. Marjorie Belton was a Regional Director. In addition, Marjorie Mitchell served as Regional Secretary Treasurer and Regional Director. Most recently, Rebecca Paschal Young served as Regional Treasurer from 2017-2019.
Since installation in 1951, the following persons have served as President of the Atlanta Chapter:
ELIZABETH HEMBREE MACOMSON, FOUNDING PRESIDENT, SEPTEMBER 16, 1951
Special thanks to the following persons who helped provide the original information and memories of the early chapter years: Mrs. Helen Bell Robinson Brooks, Mrs. Alice Washington, Mrs. Beatrice Williams, Mrs. Miriam Shropshire, and Mrs. Barbara Newton.