Maynard Jackson Jr. The first black Mayor of a major southern city, Atlanta. The Obama before Obama. In 1968 after the assassinations of MLK Jr. and Robert Kennedy, he announced his candidacy for the Georgia U.S. Senate against known segregationist, Herman Talmadge. His loss ultimately ignited a movement in the south that was started by Dr. King then picked up by Maynard. The “enforcer” of affirmative action and voter turnout, Maynard crafted successful diversity, inclusion & engagement templates still practiced today, and transformed the reputation of Atlanta from the “heart of the confederate south” to a cosmopolitan world-class city.