The magic of Atlanta, Georgia, unlike other American cities, is that icons and legends you read about in history books are walking, living and still leading, right amongst you — on an everyday basis. From my personal hero civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young, who was the strategist and right arm to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to leaders of the movement such as C.T. Vivian, Congressman John Lewis, Ms. Xernona Clayton and Rev. Joseph Lowery.
From Mrs. Christine King-Farris, the surviving sibling of Dr. King, who now teaches at Spelman College and is totally accessible to students there, to a new generation of leaders who are carrying on their iconic parent's tradition, such as my friends Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King, III, Isaac Farris and Andrea Young, and so many others.
Leaders of the civil rights movement are not simply "important" to the American experience in the Ameircan South, they all are literally co-founders of the third American Revolution. A Revolution that started with America's break from Britain, and following that the American Civil War, and ultimately her Civil Rights Movement. As Dr. King once said about his work, "the civil rights movement was about saving black men's bodies and white men's souls."
It always frustrates me when people in Atlanta treat these leaders and icons with such "casualness," as it is truly unique and special for any American citizen to be able to live, walk and work alongside living legends.
Just one of the many benefits of living in a truly unique American city: Atlanta, Georgia. Honored to call this city my Home. Okay, let's go.
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass) the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum.