The Marietta City Council last week paid homage to an elected official who paved the way for black residents to serve in public office.
Council members voted unanimously to rename its Lawrence Street Recreation Center after Hugh L. Grogan Jr. Grogan was the first black resident elected to the Marietta City Council and served from 1978 to 1981.
Grogan was part of a successful civil rights lawsuit filed in the 1970s against Marietta, charging that its ward map diluted the city’s black vote. The suit resulted in Marietta creating a majority-minority ward, said City Councilman Reggie Copeland.
In 1976 and 1978, Grogan served as president of the Marietta chapter of the NAACP, which later became the Cobb County NAACP. Grogan died in July 2009 at the age of 72.
City Councilwoman Cheryl Richardson said the name change is “the right thing to do” because Grogan not only knocked down barriers, but opened doors for others to follow in his footsteps.
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