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Writing and Reporting by Jenna Duncan

City Council considers dedicating conference room to first black member

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Published April 6, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

The Boston City Council is set to vote today on naming a new conference room after Thomas I. Atkins, the first African-American city councilor, at today’s meeting.

After some space at City Hall was reorganized and a new conference room was created, Councilor-at-Large Felix G. Arroyo knew he wanted to name it in Atkins’s memory.

“We want to make sure he’s remembered in this building and in the body he served,” he said.

Atkins was elected in 1967, serving on the council from 1968 to 1971 and took a lead role when Boston schools were desegregated. He went on to be the first person of color to hold a state Cabinet post, and served as executive director of the Boston Chapter of the NAACP.

“As students of Boston history, we should all remember Thomas Atkins,” said Arroyo.

The potential naming of the conference room follows a tradition in the City Council of naming large spaces at City Hall after influential former council members.

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Written by jdunccc

April 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

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