In the media scrum to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home run, the undercurrent—the moral—of the story was the blatant racism he faced while chasing down Babe Ruth in 1974. In many of those commemorative stories, Aaron explained that he held on to the epithet-laced letters to remind him that racism still exists. Well more than a few “fans” have gone out of their way to prove Aaron right.
Viola Davis was destined to battle the powers that be. She grew up in Topeka, Kansas, and at six, walked down the street to first grade at Monroe Elementary, a two-story, red-brick school that now is part of a museum commemorating the famous 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation case. Now Davis is at the crest of a wave of angry DeKalb residents, so angry that they have abandoned the usual blame-game between north and south DeKalb to come together against the school board.
Last week, during the half-century anniversary of the historic March on Washington—best known as the day Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his masterpiece “Dream” speech—my social media feed was crowded with photos of the three surviving King children at the Lincoln Memorial.
Lewis’s collaborators started the project with some trepidation. “There was definitely a certain level of anxiety once I realized the scope,” says illustrator Nate Powell. The artist is no pushover, however; his graphic novel "Swallow Me Whole" earned an Eisner Award, the comic industry’s highest accolade.
When it comes to building stuff, Atlanta’s got a great history of public-private partnership. Civic leaders come up with an idea, City Hall irons out the political wrinkles, and then Coke, Delta, the Home Depot, and other hometown companies contribute funding. It’s how Atlanta won the Braves and the Olympics. On the other hand, our track record of taking care of people in the process of building things—large venues in particular—is lousy.