What makes us Atlantans
In most cities, especially in the South, the place you were born is where you’re from. It’s simple. But the problem with Atlanta is that most of us weren’t born here. Native residents have long been the exception rather than the rule—though that dynamic is starting to shift, as Mara Shalhoup notes in her essay. Our transience and our sprawling geography make it challenging to define what unites us, especially as an ever-widening array of nationalities and ethnicities embraces the metro area (see more data on that here). Yet there’s no doubt something holds us together and keeps us here. As Steve Fennessy, Thomas Wheatley, and I talked with locals, we discovered it was hard to find naysayers. People’s experiences of coming to the metro area have varied widely, depending on when they came or why, but we’ve all come to call the city home. —Betsy Riley
This article appears in our January 2020 issue.