We moved to Atlanta in September of 1972. I was about 2 months pregnant. with my second daughter. Jim had been talking about moving south and my sister lived in Atlanta so that is where we went. We moved into a two family house not too far from my sister’s house.
I worked at the Institute of the Black World (IBW). Part of the statement of purpose of IBW read: “The Institute of the Black World is a gathering of black intellectuals who are convinced that the gifts of their minds are meant to be fully used in the service of the black community. It is therefore an experiment with scholarship in the context of struggle.”
I, however, was hired to do clerical work and was not a member of the intellectual staff. I typed, organized a small library, ran off the IBW newsletter on their table top printing press, helped with mailings and sometimes transcribed tapes. The in-house staff was small, less than ten people. When the Watergate Hearings started, we worked around the conference table as often as possible to enable us to watch the hearings on TV. Sometimes educational meetings were called when interesting people came to town. They talked to us about the struggle in their part of the world.
While I worked my two year old daughter Jilo attended the Martin Luther King Jr. Preschool. It was several blocks from IBW and had an afro-centric curriculum. Ruth, a fellow employee at IBW, drove by our house on her way to work. She picked us up each morning. From work I walked Jilo to school. After several days of crying when I dropped her off, my daughter settled in and seemed to enjoy the program.
One evening when I thought I was going to dinner at friends. When my co-workers yelled “Surprise!” and it turned out to be a baby shower! Some of the gifts I received were:
baby carrier Leah & Stanley
Diaper bag – Karen & AB
Sheets,pad – Shirley
$30 – Bill
Lotion set – Cheryl
Baby sak set – Ferrell
Baby sak set – Ruth
Nightgowns Pat & Sharon
Baby gift set – Louise
Blanket, clothes, plus – Pearl and Michael
Green sleep suit – Myrdal
Baby clothes – Carolyn & Terri
Three days before the birth, it felt like it was time to stop working. I mostly slept those three days. Ife was delivered at Holy Family Hospital, with Dr. Borders in attendance. It was a natural birth and Jim was there. All went well. Ife was a big baby and fussier than Jilo had been. She went to sleep best when Stevie Wonder was singing “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”.