Gentrification is global. Decatur, Ga., resident Ted Baumann compares and contrasts gentrification and the politics of race and class in his adopted Georgia city and in a post-Apartheid South African suburb in a new two-part National Council on Public History post. From the History@Work post, “Race, politics, and property: Two cases of gentrification”:
My experience in Decatur has been different – especially the absence of any organised resistance in the low-income community to domination by gentrifiers and real estate interests – but remains eerily similar in some ways. Many of those who drove the exclusionary MID agenda in Muizenberg considered themselves socially and politically progressive, just as many Decatur gentrifiers do, and reacted with anger at suggestions of racism. As in Decatur, vicious personal attacks and slander were directed at me and other “treasonous” property owners who sided with the refugee/renter population. And as in Decatur, it was largely impossible to raise issues of equity and social justice with people who reduce all social relationships to impersonal market transactions, regardless of their effects. Continue reading →
Last night the Decatur, Ga., City Commission unanimously voted to enact a 90-day moratorium on tree cutting and then voted to defeat a temporary moratorium on the demolition of single family homes. The city will protect trees and not people. The three commissioners who voted against the teardown moratorium abrogated their responsibilities to the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Continue reading →
Last night I attended a discussion of refugee resettlement efforts in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Horizon Theatre Company hosted the session, which was tied to the first run performance of Atlanta playwright Suehyla El-Attar’s Third Country.
I’ll make another comment about value engineering. It’s not just the numbers, but it is what we’ll be doing as far as memorializing a very important piece of history in the city of Decatur. And while there are opportunities for cultural gatherings and so forth, this will be a very specific one that has a very specific history and is someplace that needs to be noted as to what the Bottoms and the segregation of the City of Decatur and how far we’ve come. So thank you for your care in maintaining that piece throughout this project. — Decatur City Commissioner Kecia Cunningham.
Street sign posted on Ansley Street advertising pre-teardown garage sale. Photo by author, March 3, 2012.
Decatur, Ga., City Manager Peggy Merriss released a memo today proposing that the Decatur City Commission consider establishing a temporary moratorium on the demolition of single family homes. The city manager’s memo comes eight months after I made the same request in a petition [PDF] delivered to the Decatur City Commission and more than 18 months after I first suggested it as a Decatur resident. Continue reading →
Ever wonder why some radio towers are painted in alternating bands of orange and white and others aren’t? The story behind the federally mandated paint scheme goes back to the earliest days of aviation and broadcasting.