Gentrification: Black Atlanta’s Worst Enemy


Atlanta map

Atlanta map

According to the 2010 census, African Americans take up about 54% of Atlanta’s population. Of that 54%, most earn a low to working class income and often live in the southern neighborhoods of the city like Summerhill, East Point, West End, and Sweet Auburn.

In these same areas, there is an underlying silent threat occurring. It is called gentrification also known as an urban planning trend that is used to push lower income families, often overwhelmingly African American, out of the city. Gentrification has negative long lasting effects on the citizens of a particular place because of the architectural products it can leave behind. For example, the routes of highways in Atlanta like I-75/85 and I-20 have disrupted the growth of the Summerhill and Sweet Auburn. Architectural products of gentrification are causing the destruction of Black Atlanta socially, economically, and culturally.

Graph 1

Graph of the Black population results from Metro Atlanta


In the rest of this analysis, there will be a discussion of three architectural historically African American places in Atlanta that have been affected by a product of gentrification or is a product of gentrification. The first to be discussed is the Jackson Street Bridge and the Freedom Parkway. The second will be Turner Field and the very last will be Sweet Auburn Avenue.