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Famous Atlanta Residents Past and Present
LOCALS WHO MADE THEIR MARK
Today, Atlanta is rightfully regarded as one of the most vibrant cities in the nation. However, that wasn’t always the case. Atlanta grew steadily, both in terms of size and cultural importance, during the course of the 20th century. In honor of the Fourth of July, let’s take a look at some of the people who’ve helped make Atlanta what it is today. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. It goes without saying that Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the most important Americans to ever live. His contributions to the civil rights movement in this country are incalculable, and he continues to be a source of inspiration worldwide. No matter how you define “hero,” it’s clear that King is a hero of the very highest order. While his campaign for equality took him all over the country, his early years were spent in Atlanta. He grew up in the area around Auburn Avenue and attended Morehouse
College. When it comes to famous sons and daughters, Atlanta will never have one to be prouder of than Reverend King. SARAH BLAKELY When thinking of a female entrepreneur to feature on this list, it’s hard to choose someone other than Sarah Blakely, the owner of Spanx, an underwear and apparel company many readers of this newsletter are familiar with. Blakely is a billionaire businesswomen who appeared on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2012 and has been listed as the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. After coming up with an idea for legless pantyhose and realizing the pantyhose industry was run largely by out-of-touch men, Blakely started a revolution.
ANDRÉ ‘ANDRÉ 3000’ BENJAMIN AND ANTWAN ‘BIG BOI’ PATTON Nobody would dispute that Atlanta is the sun around which the contemporary hip-hop scene revolves. Not too long ago, though, it was considered a rap backwater struggling to compete with the likes of New York and Los Angeles. No group did more to put Atlanta on the hip-hop map than Outkast, who earned the respect of even the most South-averse fans and critics. From their debut album onward, they ceaselessly waved the flag for Atlanta rap. The only shame is that they don’t seem interested in making another album together, but we can keep our fingers crossed!
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