Black History Month

‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Smarter:’ Ambassador Andrew Young Shares Insights With Coke Employees

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With equal parts grace and gravitas, Andrew Young had a crowd of Coca-Cola associates rapt as he talked about his lifelong connection to the brand. “It was part of my life,” he said. “I follow Coca-Cola. I’ve been around the world, and I don’t think I’ve been any place yet, in 152 countries, where if I asked for a Coca-Cola that I couldn’t get one… and the company has been doing something right for a long time.” The civil rights pioneer, congressman,

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Meet Troy Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida

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Coca-Cola Beverages Florida began operations less than one year ago, when it acquired the Central Florida territory from The Coca-Cola Company, and the Tampa-based company continues to grow. The company – the only African-American owned Coca-Cola bottler – has signed letters-of-intent to acquire more territory the company, most recently in December. We talked to Troy Taylor, the company’s chairman and CEO, about his background and expanding role

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Photographer Ernest Withers Had an Eye on History, Coca-Cola

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For more than 60 years, photographer Ernest Withers captured the African-American experience with his camera, taking perfectly composed black and white shots that ranged from the simple pleasures of everyday to life to the titanic efforts of the Civil Rights movement. Withers crossed paths with icons of the era and covered landmark events like the Montgomery Bus Boycott. His work has been archived by the Library of Congress and scheduled for inclusion

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The Women of Coca-Cola: Atlanta Tribune Profiles Female African-American Execs

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The February 2016 Issue of Atlanta Tribune magazine highlights 17 of Coca-Cola’s African-American female vice presidents. “It’s not often that you find a collective of richly tenured African-American women executives holding senior posts in chorus – all under the banner of one corporation," the magazine writes. "It is, in a word, inspiring. But, what’s more stirring are the stories they share – lessons, triumphs and the intrinsic inclination

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The Night Atlanta Truly Became the City Too Busy to Hate

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When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the honor was a tremendous source of pride for the black community in King’s hometown of Atlanta. The majority of the city’s whites, however, were unimpressed. “They thought it was just one more step in this process that was meant to deprive them of the fruits of white supremacy and Jim Crow law that they'd enjoyed for more than half a century,” recalls Frederick Allen, author

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Print Pioneer: Meet Dr. Jesse Lewis, Black Advertising Visionary and Birmingham Times Founder

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For Dr. Jesse Lewis, a man who has made both his living and his mark in media, it’s only fitting that his career can be traced back to a magazine article. He was studying in the Miles College library in Birmingham, Ala. in the early-1950s when he came across an Advertising Age story about a marketing company employing college students to promote various consumer products on campuses. The piece inspired Lewis to hire students on a dozen or

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A Humble Trailblazer: Meet Mary Alexander, the First African-American Woman to Appear in Coca-Cola Advertising

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Few people have the ability to light up a room. Mary Alexander is among those fortunate few, yet she’d never admit it. It’s not necessarily her beauty or her confidence that make her shine, though she has plenty of both to go around, but rather a general happiness and aura of positivity that supersedes time, age and experience. Mary radiates – which is probably the reason she was chosen as Coca-Cola’s first female African-American model

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Fighting for Civil Rights at the Soda Fountain

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In July 1958, a young lady named Carol Parks sat down at the popular soda fountain at Dockum Drugstore in Wichita, Kansas, ordered a Coke and was promptly served by a waitress. But as other customers entered and sat with Parks at the counter, the waitress withdrew from them. The problem? The other customers were black. And like countless establishments in the United States at the time, the soda fountain had a segregation policy, meaning they did

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