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Building Atlanta


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Contents Introduction by Former US Ambassador Andrew Young Prologue PART I: Growing, Working, and Learning 1. Life, One Word at a Time 2. High School Hero 3. Tuskegee Institute: An Educated Class PART II: H. J. Russell & Company: Atlanta's Do-It-All Contractor 4. Black Entrepreneurship Takes Hold, Part 1 5. Otelia Hackney: A Black Woman Emerges PART III: Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement 6. Swimming at the Deep End of Social Change 7. Black Entrepreneurship Takes Hold, Part 2 8. My Big Greek Brother (From Another Mother) 9. Desegregating the Good Ol' Boys 10. A Leg Up and Over: Joint Ventures PART IV: It's a Living 11. Before Takeoff and Landing, Visit Us at Concessions International 12. The Beer Years 13. The H. J. Russell Institute of Good Common Sense 14. Mixing Business and Politics PART V: Family First 15. The Wonders of Otelia 16. Born Leaders 17. . . . And Hello to Sylvia PART VI: Sixty Years Later 18. All the Rest of My Days Acknowledgments Index About the Authors

About the Author

Andrew Young was born in New Orleans in 1932. In 1960, he joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He served as its executive director from 1964 to 1970. He was elected to three terms in Congress and two terms as Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. He was the first African American to be appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.


"Herman Russell is one of that group of African Americans in Atlanta, Horatio Alger types, who are proof of the American Dream." --Jane Fonda

"Here's a man who, from his humble start working in his father's plastering business, has gone on to reshape the urban landscape of many of America's greatest cities." --Earl Graves, founder and publisher of Black Enterprise

"Not many people alive in Atlanta today can look back and say they were involved with Dr. King, but Herman can do that. He's been an important person in the history of this city." --Arthur Blank, cofounder, the Home Depot; owner, Atlanta Falcons

"Herman has been one of the pillars of the Atlanta community for many years, as a businessperson but also as a caring, concerned citizen. He's made a lasting contribution, not just to Atlanta but to the nation." --John Lewis, U.S. representative, Georgia fifth congressional district

"I think that Herman Russell had as much to do with the rise of Atlanta as Ted Turner. Ted did a tremendous job in taking Atlanta all over the world via CNN and Herman did the same with his building empire." --Hank Aaron, Hall-of-Fame baseball player

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