Black History Month Legend of the Day: Alonzo Herndon

Living in Atlanta has so many advantages. As a child, I was exposed to so much through my parents and the Atlanta Public School System. That exposure made it difficult for me to decide what I wanted to become in life. That’s a good problem to have. 

One of the first field trips that I can remember taking in elementary school was to the Herndon Home. Just to think that in the early 1900’s, a black man was doing something that he loved, impacting an entire city while obtaining wealth. Looked like the perfect role model for me. 

Mr. Alonzo Herndon’s first successful business venture was a barber shop in Atlanta on Peachtree Street. I hear stories about the marble floors and chandeliers. Here is a black man with a barber shop on Peachtree Street with a clientele of the most successful white men in the south. Mr. Herndon became Atlanta’s first black millionaire. 

The barber shop on Peachtree later became Atlanta Life Insurance which has expanded and continues to thrive. 

As I walked through the Herndon Home as a third grader, I decided that I wanted to be successful just like Mr. Herndon. I knew that I could do it because he did it. 

Today, I am one of the most respected baseball instructors in the country. The seed of striving for excellence was nurtured in the Herndon Home. Thank you Mr. Herndon. Your legacy of excellence lives on through me.