White Boy with the Black Press
A word of introduction
Atlanta when I knew her occupied one of those stunning intersections
of a place and a time that occasionally happens to cities and creates something almost legendary for those embraced by the enchantment.
I didn't know it at the time, but during the 1970s, the city of Martin King and Margaret Mitchell epitomized the sort of cultural, social, political and economic flowering that is associated with other cities and other eras: Paris during the 1890s, New York City during the 1940s and San Francisco in the 1960s.
What we had that the other cities did not was the DreamWind of Dr. King.
The goals and yearnings of those in the Movement came closest to being realized in Atlanta and nowhere else. After all, we were "Doc's" hometown.
In the decade following the Memphis assassination, Atlanta reinvented itself from being just another overgrown white-run southern town run by into a Black Mecca that welcomed and worked alongside anyone of good will, regardless of race. The spirit of Atlanta's native son Martin King had not yet been pickled in dreamy nostalgia or walled off by pay-per-view.
And lest we forget the centrality of race in the American dialogue, remember the conduct of the presidential campaign of 2008, when a black man, Barack Obama, set his sights on the leadership of the nation. The best and worst of our national spirit emerged in a way that recalled the Civil Rights Movement.
My role in the city was that of scribe and picture-taker. My journalism from 1969-1997 constitutes an archive of around 23,000 photographs, 400 hours of feature and documentary radio and file cabinets filled with writing.
My intention in cobbling together this website is to put wings and wheels on this collected stuff from my days working the beat in Atlantis, that astonishing civilization that has submerged beneath the gray ocean of time.