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Long before Covid-19 clamped down upon so many Atlantans’ livelihoods, skyrocketing housing costs and other ills of gentrification were forcing city dwellers—especially younger ones—to get creative when it came to living arrangements. That trend has only accelerated since the pandemic.
In their documentary, Atlanta filmmakers Shonda Harper and Alahna Lark trace the history of Auburn Avenue as a nexus of black culture and commerce, a springboard of the civil rights movement, and a community irreparably cleaved in two by the construction of the Downtown Connector.
Rosa Duffy's bookstore, For Keeps, is more than a place for visitors to purchase rare and classic black books. Duffy designed it to also be a reading room where people can stop in and interact with history that is often overlooked or placed in the bottom of the dollar bins at other bookstores.
Author Gary Pomerantz published his book Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn in 1996 after five years of uncovering slave graves in the woods, conducting more than 500 interviews, and filling the holes left behind in Atlanta’s history by a lack of proper documentation. He spoke Thursday in honor of the opening of Gene Kansas's new coworking space, Constellations.
Gene Kansas has an affinity for adaptive-reuse projects, especially those on imperiled Auburn Avenue, the heart of a district famously dubbed Sweet Auburn when it was thriving during the first half of the 20th century. Kansas knows how fragile community and history can be, having seen his hometown literally underwater.
Freddy Cole sits at a table in a back corner of Sweet Auburn Seafood restaurant. The linens are crisp, the decor modern: shimmering tile, high-backed benches—all unmarked by smoke or time. This place is a welcome sign of slow resurgence in this historic part of town.
Three giant (as in building-sized) murals were installed in the King Historic District yesterday in the latest Living Walls effort to turn structures into canvasses. One such “canvas” is the former Henry’s Grill at 345 Auburn Avenue, where a small crowd turned out to watch an acclaimed muralist at work.