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Top 5 Stories of The Week: Magic Johnson Revives Historic Atlanta Life; Fani Willis Secures More Guilty Pleas; Tyler Perry Builds Home For Grandmother:

Magic Johnson Revives Historic Atlanta Life, Credits Killer Mike

Magic Johnson became aware of the storied legacy of Alonzo Herndon and Atlanta Life through rapper Killer Mike.

“Killer Mike was the one who was doing an interview and he really brought to light this company and the history of Mr. Herndon,” Johnson told ADW during an exclusive Q&A session in Buckhead. “So I had to look this guy up and look this company up. So big ups to Killer Mike for educating myself and I’m sure a lot of other people.”

Johnson would research the history of Herndon and Atlanta Life and decided to continue its legacy. Johnson’s EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, a life insurance and annuities carrier with $26 billion of total assets, reached an agreement to broaden its offerings and reach.

Atlanta Life now stands as the nation’s lone remaining Black-founded and owned insurance company.

Initially founded by Herndon, a former slave, in 1905, Atlanta Life became a staple in the community and allowed Herndon to become one of America’s first Black millionaires. In 1920, Herndon purchased and developed a building on Auburn Ave as it served as headquarters for the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Read more

Fani Willis Secures More Guilty Pleas In Trump Indictment 

Another one of Donald Trump’s co-defendants has taken a plea deal in the efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

Today, former Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro pleaded guilty to a felony of filing false documents. Chesebro’s plan was to file the false documents in order to help Trump’s campaign put forth unauthorized slates of GOP electors in Georgia and six other states.

Chesebro and other Trump affiliates wanted then-Vice President Mike Pence to use false GOP electors to justify delaying Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory, or throw out Biden’s lawful electors.

Chesebro has agreed to testify against Trump and other co-defendants.

The deal comes one day after Fani Willis and her team of prosecutors offered a plea deal to Trump’s former attorney Sidney Powell. Read more

Tyler Perry Builds Home For Grandmother

Tyler Perry will step up to help a Black grandmother who has faced a legal battle for her land. Josephine Wright’s family has owned a plot of land in Hilton Head, South Carolina since the Civil War.

However, a development company called Bailey Point Investment has attempted to take Wright’s land through legal means after she refused to sell. The company got approval from town officials to develop 29 acres of land behind Wright’s home. Once Wright turned down the offer to sell, the company filed a lawsuit to seize control of the property.

Bailey Point claims that Wright’s porch sits on property they brought, although their property is across the street from Wright’s home.

But Perry has decided to step up and help Wright by building her a new five-bedroom home for her and her grandchildren to live in. Construction will begin once permits are squared away.

A tree recently fell on the home and caused damage to the roof. No one was home at the time the tree fell. Read more

Atlanta Housing Choice Voucher Program Accepting Applications

Housing vouchers in Atlanta, like in many other U.S. cities, are often hard to secure and wait periods to even be considered for rental assistance programs can be extraordinarily lengthy. But today, Tuesday, Oct. 17 marks the opening of the Housing Choice Voucher Program which will help low-income families and people afford housing.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has opened applications for the housing voucher program and will continue to accept them until midnight Oct. 20 or 11:59 p.m. to be precise.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, often referred to as Section 8 is one of HUD’s more successful housing assistance programs around the nation. Read more

Will Packer Honored At NBAF Gala

Will Packer was recently honored by the National Black Arts Festival with the “Trailblazer In The Arts Award.”

The fundraising “Gala- Mahogany: A Celebration of Black Arts,” was a night of celebrating Black artistic excellence. It also featured dinner curated by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

During his acceptance speech, Packer shared his story of moving to Atlanta and following his dreams.

“I moved to Atlanta straight out of FAMU,” Packer said. “My brother Rob Hardy and I had a U-haul truck. We had $257 and we had a dream and Atlanta was the place where our dream came to thrive. Atlanta is the place where your dreams can come true. And I will say that if I’m in this room, I will say that if I’m in another room in this country. I’ll say it in any room around the world because it’s the truth. And Atlanta has been a foundation for me. It allows me to thrive in the way that I am thriving in my career.” Read more

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