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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Atlanta...What I've Learned

In case you may or may not know...I have been working down here in Atlanta for the past few months, and will be returning to Cincinnati very soon. I had a goal of not only getting lots of great job experience, but I also wanted to learn as much as I could about this often ballyhooed city. Here are some of the things I've learned and just some of my observations.

1. Atlanta is often considered to be THE spot for blacks to live. While I noticed a lot more middle-class blacks I also noticed that Atlanta still suffers from the same issues of racism that everywhere else does. There are people who resent the fact that Atlanta is such a destination spot for blacks...and since you have a good number of middle/upper-class blacks you see prejudice from those individuals towards the lower-class blacks. As I have said before...I think prejudices and segregation result more so from economics than race or anything else.

2. The reason Atlanta is such a great place for young people is that there are a TON of young people down here. The bars I've been to in Virginia Highlands and Midtown have been good, but not better than the bars of Mt. Adams in my opinion. Now, there are much better clubs and a lot more of them. But like I said, what makes it a great place for young all the young people (chicken or egg).

Midtown Atlanta

3. It is hot, humid, muggy and buggy...not at all my style. Give me Cincinnati's bipolar weather behavior any day over this shenanigans.

4. I've never heard the term 'Yankee' used more in my entire life. Actually to be honest...I don't know that I ever heard it used in normal conversation in Cincinnati.

If you would like to see more visuals of my Atlanta Documentaries you can check them out over on UrbanOhio. Here is the list of places I have up so far:

*Please note that I use the term 'blacks' instead of African American because not everyone that is black is African American. Furthermore, the Census Bureau uses this classification for racial breakdowns in many cases.


mandy jeanne said...

wow, how progressive and REASONABLE of you to use blacks as opposed to african-american. i had a big debate about this very subject today. i argued that unless you migrated here within a recent generation(s) you are simply an american sans prefix-. and i'm tired of the P.C. revolution calling more attention to our differences and making racists out of all of us. melting pot/shmelting pot. americans.

Anonymous said...


In reponse to your post, I offer up the following:

1. If I were a education professional, african-american, I'd be in the ATL all day long. The number of upper class, educated, entrepreunerial blacks, far exceeds that of any other city. That being said, yes racisim still exists, as it does everywhere in America (it goes both ways too), but all in all, the opportunities here far exceed those in many other cities due, primarily due to the large amount of black owned businesses and general positive energy in the black community. (I regonize that there are some poor blacks who may not share this spirit.) Drive through S. Fulton County and you will see subdivision after subdivision of $600K+ houses that are 100% black. Although it's a shame that it's not more diverse on the South Side, it is what it is.

2. I say young people come before bars. Bars will not attract young people but will help to keep them there because it adds to the "fun" factor. I do think that the "scene" in Atlanta is pretty poor for its city this size, primarily due to its poly-centric nature(only one downtown though). There are about 10 bars in Midtown, about another 10 scattered through out Buckhead, another 10 - 12 in the Highland, another 10 in L5P, another 10 in East ATL. It's very scattered and it would be nice to have a regional destination, as Buckhead was 10 or so years ago. As Midtown has grown, and will continue to, bars will probably make way for condo's and office (see Vision and 112 (one tweezy).

3. Personally, I miss the snow, but prefer this weather. Randy, this was the hottest summer ever; atypical, even for ATL.

4. I've never heard, "Where'd you go to high school?" or "East Side or West Side?" as much as I did when I was in Cincinnati. I guess every place as their thing.

See you January.

Dave P. said...

"As I have said before...I think prejudices and segregation result more so from economics than race or anything else."

A large number of sociological studies have documented that race is still the catalyst for prejudice, discrimination, and residential segregation, not class.

Randy Simes said...

Race certainly plays a factor, but all of a sudden when you have people of similar interests and backgrounds...who happen to be of a different race. Those racial divides seem to melt away.

It seems that people naturally want to surround themselves with like minded people; and in a capitalistic society where money and power is the major driving is also the main culprit in segregation and prejudices. Those are just my thoughts...obviously there is a good deal of debate about the issue, but I agree race does play a factor.

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