The Brazen City: Atlanta preens and struts its stuff

… And that is what Atlanta is about: a dialectic that often achieves the balance, harmony, and good fortune of a yin-yang symbol. The tradition dates back to the 1880s and Henry Grady, the managing editor of the then Atlanta Constitution, who rallied Northern investors with promises of a “New South” and “sunshine everywhere and all the time.” That relentless boosterism, shellacked in social conscience, has never dimmed and, some dark days notwithstanding, has shaped Atlanta’s peculiar character as a boomtown where wheeler-dealers substitute gumption for bigotry (which is bad for bidniss). Mayor William Hartsfield coined that semantically loaded slogan “The City Too Busy to Hate.” To prove it, Ivan Allen, Jr., who succeeded him as mayor in 1962, took down those unseemly water fountain signs two years before the Civil Rights Act. When our homegrown prophet Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, other American cities went up in flames. Atlanta, miraculously, did not. To read the rest, go here, please


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