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The Legend of the Black MeccaPolitics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta$
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Maurice J. Hobson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635354

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635354.001.0001

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The Brawn of the Black Mecca and the Black New South

The Brawn of the Black Mecca and the Black New South

Maynard Jackson, Racial Symbolism, and Economic Realities

(p.50) 2 The Brawn of the Black Mecca and the Black New South
The Legend of the Black Mecca

Maurice J. Hobson

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter 2 focuses on the emergence of a feisty black lawyer named Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr., who became Atlanta’s first black Vice-Mayor and subsequently Atlanta’s first black mayor. Jackson’s mayoral tenure marked the first of its kind in terms of black big city leadership and bolstered the black Mecca image. Jackson’s emergence was the fruition of caste and class within black Atlanta. He was a fifth generation Georgian, born into two of Atlanta’s prominent black families. As the grandson of prominent black Atlantans Andrew Jackson and John Wesley Dobbs, Jackson graduated Morehouse College at age 18 and went on to receive legal training in Durham, North Carolina. Jackson cut his teeth as a champion for the people and made headlines as the people’s politician with his quixotic 1968 run for the U.S. Senate against Senator Herman Talmadge. Jackson’s first term as mayor of Atlanta was full of political success. However, during his second term as mayor, many of his working class and poor black constituency felt as if he sacrificed them to play politics.

Keywords:   affirmative action, Atlanta Negro Voters League, Atlanta Style of Bi-Racial Negotiation, black New South, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Herman Talmadge, Horace Tate, Ivan Allen, Jimmy Carter, John Wesley Dobbs, Maynard H. Jackson, Jr., Q.V. Williamson, Sam Massell, sanitation strikes, Voting Rights Act of 1965

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