Atlanta citizens are in an uproar over the many white faces shown in an online brochure advertising a luxury development slated for one of the city’s oldest historically black communities.
What We Know:
- The development, Quarry Yards, is near northwest Atlanta’s Bankhead MARTA station, according to 11 Alive. Once the 34-page brochure spread through social media, it was heavily criticized as it mirrored the rapid gentrification happening in Atlanta. “Wow,” wrote James Jay Bailey, president and CEO of the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “This is so disturbing.”
- Bailey and others pointed to one specific photo that showed only white people in a conference room with the words, “A Community Created For The New Atlanta.” The words “New Atlanta” were in bold. Sherise Brown is among those disturbed by the marketing for Quarry Yards. “I’m looking at a bunch of young, white professional yuppies. You know, this is the ‘new Atlanta.’ We already know this is what you want. But really, up in our face like that?” Brown said.
- The images were troubling enough for a group of activists to head into the Atlanta office of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to make a fair housing complaint. “Anyone familiar with the neighborhood knows that the Old Atlanta is Black and low income,” the complaint read.
- Brown said she was displaced when northwest Atlanta’s Bankhead Courts housing project was demolished and has been looking for an affordable way to return to the neighborhood.
- Michael Smith, a spokesperson for Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called the brochure poorly executed and explained that it did not properly represent Atlanta. “The marketing materials in question certainly do not represent Atlanta, and we will be having an in-depth conversation with the developer on their plans, community impact and inclusivity in the immediate future,” Smith said.
Joe Phillips, a spokesman for HUD’s Atlanta office, says the agency will likely respond in 20 to 30 days.