|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 080 Bob Holmes|
|Creator||Holmes, Robert A., 1943-|
|Dates||2009 May 13|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Robert A. “Bob” Holmes was invited to teach as a professor in the political science department of Clark Atlanta University in 1971. Holmes became active in a variety of political issues and campaigns. In 1974, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat. He was the first African American to serve on the budget subcommittee. In 1989, he became director of the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy, researching international political issues. He promoted election law reform and co-sponsored Motor Voter legislation. In 1990, he was appointed chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. Holmes discusses being an African American in the Georgia legislature, his recollection of politicians he served with and worked for, and the electoral system of Georgia and the United States.|
Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 080, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641..
Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
Robert A. “Bob” Holmes was born in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in 1943. He grew up in New York and West Virginia, and attended Shepherd College. He received his masters and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. In 1968, he served as the coordinator for the Harvard-Yale-Columbia Intensive Summer Studies Program at Columbia University. Holmes then went to Louisiana and taught as an assistant professor at Southern University from 1969 to 1970. In 1970, he worked as an administrator and as director of SEEK – Search for Elevation, Education and Knowledge – for the Bernard Baruch City University of New York. In 1971, he was invited to teach as a professor in the political science department of Clark Atlanta University. In Atlanta, Holmes became active in a variety of political issues and campaigns. In 1974, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat. He was the first African-American to serve on the budget subcommittee. In 1989, he became director of the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy, researching international political issues. He promoted election law reform and co-sponsored Motor Voter legislation. In 1990, he was appointed chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. In 2005, he retired from Clark Atlanta University.
Bob Holmes discusses growing up in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and earning his Ph.D. at Columbia.
Holmes discusses establishing the Political Science Ph.D. program at Clark Atlanta University, helping Andrew Young and Maynard Jackson campaign, and running for the legislature himself in 1974. He discusses his other business ventures such as banks and computer stores. Holmes recalls his interest in political science and public policy and recalls the students that went through the Ph.D. program at Clark Atlanta University.
Holmes discusses on his friendship with Grace Hamilton and her city charter bill, commenting on how the bill renegotiated the mayor's power. Holmes also discusses how the Speaker of the House gained more autonomy in 1975. He recalls caucusing for change with other younger representatives and receiving less-than-desirable committee appointments as a result. Holmes discusses later being appointed the first African American on the budget subcommittee.
Holmes discusses his international aid work and his recollections of Speaker Tom Murphy. He comments on his friendship with Professor Clarence Bacote and discusses law school opportunities for African Americans.
Holmes recalls Maynard Jackson's campaign for mayor and other civil rights leadership in the state. He recalls the difficulty of gaining money for small projects from the Georgia legislature and comments on belonging to several organizations of black elected officials such as the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. He also extensively discusses the obsolescence of the electoral college system and how important early voting has been for Georgia.