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    Posted May 23, 2010 by
    San Mateo, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Do you remember the Atlanta Child Murders?

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    Atlanta Family Roots


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Toi35 was only eight when the Atlanta Child Murders were happening across the country. 'I remember being scared to death, especially since he was only killing little black kids, and as such, I believed that it was only a matter of time before the killer got to me,' she said. The murders got her so interested in social studies that she wrote a thesis on Wayne Williams and the case for a criminal justice course.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    I was eight years old and living in the San Francisco Bay Area when the Atlanta Child Murders were happening. Both my mother and grandmother were born and raised in Atlanta so when the national news began reporting it, we were glued to the television every night -- it seemed like every other day the Atlanta authorities were discovering a new child. Even at eight years old I was keenly aware that all the kids were black like me and that I could be next {as far I was concerned -- and not having any spatial reference -- Atlanta may as well have been down the street!} Later, when CBS aired the made-for-tv movie, "The Atlanta Child Murders," I became spooked all over again.

    Many years later I earned a degree in Criminal Justice and wrote my thesis on Wayne Williams and the case of the Atlanta Child Murders. What I discovered about Williams is that he -- like many American blacks -- suffer from a type of 'self-hate' symdrome; particularly with Williams, he believed that he could not get ahead in life, that is, break into the white, Atlanta, professional circles because of the negative stereotypes of black people which were being perpetuated in his all black neighborhhood everyday: poverty, drug-dealing, pimping, etc... . He felt like HE was different than other blacks, but because of THEM, his professional opportunities were limited. So in short, by getting rid of THEM was tantamount to getting rid of the negative stereotypes, and thus perhaps he would get his break in upwardly-mobile social circles. The research was quite interesting actually... .

    Wow....it's been 30 years already, huh? Time has flown.

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