Wed, Oct 22, 2003
It's All About Inclusion, Says Former Mayor Jackson's
After a bit of nasty debate Monday, the Atlanta City Council did
what it always was going to do: it voted 12-2 to change the name of
the city's big airport, for the fourth time. This time, it added
the name of the city's first black mayor, Maynard Jackson, to Mayor
Hartsfield's airport. The new official name will henceforth be
"Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Maynard Jackson died in June, at age 65; since then, the
movement to put his name on a significant public property has been
like a tidal wave: everybody saw it coming, and nobody was going to
stop it, for a variety of reasons.
The airport's name has been changed before; but it has
been 'Hartsfield' since the visionary and once-popular mayor got
the honor, just before Atlanta's huge expansion -- that was fueled
largely by Hartsfield's expansion of the airport.
The name change, tidal wave or no, almost didn't happen; in
fact, it nearly happened a whole bunch of other ways. We understand
that a majority of African-Americans on the Council (where they are
a majority) wanted Hartsfield's name stripped from the airport,
altogether, to be replaced entirely by the name of Maynard Jackson.
Statues of either man, and finally of both men, were discussed and
then approved; renaming access roads, even those outside the city,
was another topic -- mercifully, for discussion later.
In the end, the 12 African-Americans on the council voted to
change the name; the two whites voted to keep it the same. (The
vote was a real cliff-hanger.) Motion passed.
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