If the winds among the streets of Atlanta's west side could speak, they would softly whisper the name of Herman Cain, one of three Republican frontrunners in Tuesday's CNN presidential debate.
Cain's father, Luther, worked as a janitor, a barber, and a chauffeur for Robert Woodruff, the president for Coca-Cola. His mother, Lenora, was a domestic worker. One of Luther Cain's high points in life was saving enough money from his three jobs to purchase a modest brick home on Albert Street off Oldknow in the Collier Heights neighborhood.
“I didn’t come from a well-to-do family economically, but we were well-to-do spiritually and emotionally," Cain said in his autobiography, "This is Herman Cain, My Journey to the White House," which was just released on Oct. 4.
Said Cain: “I grew up poor, but I didn’t know it.”
Cain grew up in segregated Atlanta and attended segregated schools, English Avenue Elementary, in the Vine City-English Avenue area, and the former Archer High School (now part of Harper-Archer Middle School) in an industrial, blue collar community on Perry Boulevard. At the age of 10, he joined Antioch Baptist Church, the southwest Atlanta church lead by the influential Rev. Cameron Alexander.
“I still remember riding the buses, and they had the sign in the front, ‘Whites seat from front. Colored seat from rear,’ ” Cain said in his book. “It didn’t say, ‘White folks sit in the front, black folks sit in the back.’ That would have made too much sense.”
Cain graduated salutatorian from Archer in 1963 and was chose as both "Best All Around" and "Most Likely to Succeed" by his peers. Cain went on to graduate from Morehouse College in 1967 and a year later married Atlanta resident Gloria Etchison after she graduated from Morris Brown College. The Cains moved north shortly after Cain was accepted to Purdue University, where he received his Master's Degree in computer science.
In last night's debate, Cain stood firm on his controversial defense of Wall Street.
Cain recently criticized the Occupy Wall Street protesters, saying, "Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."
At Tuesday night's CNN debate, according to a report on HuffingtonPost.com Politics, Cain stood by his comments—to loud cheers from the audience.
"I still stand by my statement," he said.
"They might be frustrated with Wall Street and the bankers, but they're directing their anger at the wrong place," he added. "Wall Street didn't put in failed economic policies. Wall Street didn't spend a trillion dollars that didn't do any good. Wall Street isn't going around the country trying to sell another $450 billion. They ought to be over in front of the White House taking out their frustration."