Magic Johnson Revives Black-Owned Insurance Company In Atlanta
Magic Johnson is helping to revive a Black-owned business with historic ties to communal upliftment. The Atlanta Life Insurance Company, founded in the Georgia Capital in 1905, is now getting the support it needs to continue being a resource to the Black community, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Established by Alonzo Herndon, a formerly enslaved man, the Atlanta Life Insurance Company was a trailblazing business that catapulted the city’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood into a hub for Black entrepreneurs. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Herndon’s company was so successful that his accomplishment made him the first Black millionaire in Atlanta.
Herndon’s journey from slave to millionaire inspired Johnson to invest in rebuilding the company after first being made aware of its history through Killer Mike. Its decline over the past decades led the insurance company to sell its headquarters in the very area in which it was once a household name.
Johnson aims to bring the storied business back to the residents of Atlanta by acquiring it into the portfolio of his own life insurance company, called EquiTrust. Its continued success is a testimony to the efforts of its original owner.
At an event celebrating its reinstatement to the city’s business sector, the philanthropist spoke to Atlanta guests, such as Mayor Andre Dickens and entertainer-turned-entrepreneur Kandi Burruss, about why this latest development for the brand matters.
“Anytime a Black man can go from slavery to becoming a Black millionaire here in Atlanta, to become an entrepreneur, it’s a story that should be told, and I’m glad that we’re able to take this historical brand and company and revitalize it, and really bring it back to the people of Georgia,” expressed the NBA legend.
Prior to the 64-year-old’s involvement, the Black-owned Atlanta Life Holdings took over the declining company in January 2023. Under the new arrangement, Johnson will become the beneficial owner as well as minority equity owner of the Herndon Foundation.
With Johnson’s help, the Atlanta Life Insurance Company seeks to re-establish itself in the retail sphere and increase its clientele in the employer benefits market.
“Our rich heritage is a story of power, perseverance, family and community,” the company stated on its website. “As the lone remaining Black-founded and owned insurance company in the United States, we persevered through our past to become stewards of your future.”
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