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Preserving the Corners of Culture: For the true ATLiens

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An ad posted on a dilapidated building advertises the construction of new luxury condos.

Gentrification: the newest social justice hashtag, the revenge of White Flight. It’s a virus that’s plaguing cities nationwide, and manifests itself in abandoned run-down buildings turned tasteful vintage Pinterest lofts.

You blame the city’s politics and gerrymandering, I blame Fixer Upper. (It’s still all love though Chip and Joana.)

But honestly, we should have seen the beginning of the end when Forever21 started selling bamboo earrings. Now hipsters, who have no idea who Felicia is, are buying Friday t-shirts from Urban Outfitters, and Kylie Jenner is somewhere fooling with a toothbrush to “lay” her nonexistent edges.

Nothing is sacred anymore, but not all hope, or culture, is lost– if you know where to find it.

Atlanta has long been the mecca for all things black culture. We have given the world everything from Dr. King to Andre 3000 to Migos. No matter how many trendy apartment complexes crop up around town, there are a few landmarks that will always be there.

Here’s a few:

Kenley’s Restaurant

Located in the cut of the Citizen’s Trust Bank, this undercover gem feels like a literal hole in the wall when you step from the office building into this homely wing spot. But what the place lacks in size, it makes up for in heart- and a bussin’ $7 ten-piece wing plate. Every inch of the walls are littered with pictures of owner Kenley Waller with entertainment royalty, from the likes of a young Mariah Carey to TLC. And if Mimi’s bougie self is up there, then you know that ten piece is somethin’ serious.

Moods Music

Tucked in the quirky artist’s neighborhood Little Five Points, this old school record store smells like cocoa butter, incense, and vinyl soul. Founded by Darryl “D-Nice” Harris, the place serves as a hip-hop and R&B time capsule boasting Sade records, Lauryn Hill CDs, and original VIBE issues with Pac on the cover. Moods Music is an apt name for its warm aesthetic that feels like it came straight off the set of Love Jones. And if you look close enough, you can almost see Darius playing that Isley Brothers record for Nina.

Sweet Auburn District

This renowned district in Atlanta is no hole in the wall, but I’d be wrong not to mention it. Deemed the “richest Negro street in the world” by Fortune magazine in 1956, Sweet Auburn was a hub for African American business; the Southern Harlem Renaissance. Not only did the neighborhood act as a form of headquarters for activists during the Civil Rights Movement, it was also the home of Martin Luther King Jr. himself. This area is ripe with legendary landmarks, from King’s childhood home to Ebenezer Baptist Church. Celebrate this vibrant culture at the annual Sweet Auburn Fest, grab a bite at the Curb Market, or walk through history in Dr. King’s neighborhood.

So yes, gentrification is happening. We can’t stop it, but nor do we need to fear it. So let Seth ride his bike through Bankhead- the true ATLiens aren’t going anywhere.

Entertainment

[Web Series] Connecting the Dots : Facts & Opinions

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Connecting the Dots is a show hosted by GT and Kymmy Cocoa they connect the dots, keep us woke on what’s going on whats going on in the social / government / pop cultures. Stay woke and tune in to Connecting the Dots on Innovative Black Station network. This segment they talk about Atlanta’s new mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms advisory/transition team and the political climate in the U.S. . Watch this segment here.

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