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Atlanta must lead the way in advancing racial equity

Atlanta must lead the way in advancing racial equity

This time of unrest offers the chance to take a different path forward and lead the Atlanta region, the South, and the nation toward a more equitable future. We must take the lessons (both good and bad) from our courageous past to realize a New Atlanta Way.

Video: Atlanta’s income inequality in less than 2 miles and 5 minutes

I wish I could say that last week’s Brookings Institution report stating that Atlanta has the highest income disparity of any big U.S. city was a surprise. But it wasn’t. As I read through the details of the analysis—which compares the ratio of the city’s top earners to those in the lowest fifth of household incomes—I couldn’t shake a particular mental image: a drive that I have made dozens of times in recent months while reporting a story for next month’s issue of the magazine.
The Other 284 Days Turner Field

The Other 284 Days

The story of Turner Field and its neighbors is one of stunted vision, cynical opportunism, halfhearted reform efforts, and misguided renewal schemes. Millions of dollars have been squandered and hundreds of acres left vacant. Around here, thousands of people live below the poverty line while just a handful—some legally, some not—cash in, because it’s more lucrative to park cars on an empty lot eighty-one days a year than to clean up that lot, open a business, and operate it year-round.

Groundbreaking for the Atlanta Stadium

It’s the ultimate example of Atlanta’s ahem, ballsy boosterism. On April 15, 1964, ground was broken for a new stadium. Never mind that the city didn’t have a baseball franchise and details of how it would all be paid for were still being sorted out. “We expect to be playing major league baseball here this time next year,” mayor Ivan Allen confidently told the New York Times.

Atlanta’s “Berlin Wall”

In December 1962, Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. ordered barricades to be built across two Atlanta streets to discourage black citizens from purchasing homes in an adjacent all-white neighborhood.

Ivan Allen Jr.

Born into a wealthy family, the World War II vet married the granddaughter of city patriarch Hugh T. Inman. From 1962 to 1970, Allen proved a heroic mayor.

Funeral

The remarkable behind-the-scenes story of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 funeral.
Martin Luther King Jr.

The Day King Died

On the night of Thursday, April 4, 1968, Louise and I were in our bedroom at home watching television and reading the newspaper when a bulletin flashed on the screen: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., SHOT IN MEMPHIS.

Ivan Allen and the Stadium

There's a cavernous concrete oval rising like an elevator on the edge of town, and Ivan Allen Jr. has staked a piece of his political future on his ability to fill it with mayor league ballplayers and playing customers. What will it mean for the city?

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