Airing again on GPB on Feb. 4th from 8:00-9:00 P.M.
“Refreshing … respectfully showcases both the mayor’s qualities as well as his shortcomings.” – SaportaReport
“The documentary’s most valuable attribute is that it shows a multi-dimensional portrait of Mayor Allen ─ his qualities and his missteps … gains credibility by not romanticizing the past.” – WABE
Ivan Allen is one of the most important figures in Atlanta’s history, and never before have the stories contained in his legacy been told on the silver screen. The story of Ivan Allen’s life and career is one of transformation. A child of the new Southern gentry, he inherited his father’s business fortune and political aspirations. He ran unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia on a segregationist ticket in the 50s. Later that decade, as the head of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, he found himself up against a strong anti-segregation protest movement, emanating from the Atlanta University Center of historically black colleges. After defeating avowed, sometimes violent segregationist, Lester Maddox, in the 1961 mayoral election, Ivan Allen led the desegregation of city government buildings. In his two terms as mayor, Atlanta became the headquarters of the Civil Rights Movement, and the city grew as much as all the previous years since its founding. The mayor’s often rocky journey through the tumult of the 60s offers a fresh perspective on today’s climate of division and polarization. By opening himself up to the diversity of voices around him, Ivan Allen managed to bring together a divided city, and pave the way for Atlanta to become a hub in the world economy. His legacy is not that of a hero, but rather that of a flawed person who was willing to lead by compromise. These stories are vital to share with today’s Atlantans, many of whom know little of its history.