Black Capitalism: Seed Money in Georgia

Much as businessmen talk about the need to help the poor, ghetto betterment projects often seem to generate more rhetoric than results. "Whenever the average businessman has done something, he has done it in a condescending spirit and at a distance, not in a face-to-face partnership," says Mills B. Lane, president of the Atlanta-based Citizens & Southern National Bank. "He likes to sit around and debate, then go write a check to some agency or other."

Lane decided that his bank, the biggest in the Deep South (assets: $1.5 billion), should become...

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