Why its hard to get into Poetry around here.



I've been looking for this book for a long time. I need all of y'all to read it so we can freak out together. Meanwhile, I feel a little anxious carrying around a book with a cover like this and posting it here. Will onlookers take me for a redneck or a liberal?

In reading it so far, I have been inspired to:
-Visit Mozeley Park and Peyton Forest
-Find the old Nathan Bedford Forest Klavern No. 1 on Whitehall Street
-Hunt down the original layout for "An Appeal for Human Rights" and reproduce it on T-shirts
-Call the author
-Grill my parents about school desegretation
-Take up my project on Moreland Avenue Baptist again
-Ask a real estate agent about the term "blockbusting"
-Pray for healing



Mom has mentioned blockbusting before. She referenced it mostly in the East Point area back when Grandpa had his bakery here. She said that someone - housing authority/gov't auth. - starting moving black families into predominantly white neighborhoods to try and integrate the city.

She said the whites "freaked out" and within a year, all of the neighborhoods in and around East Point (Campbellton Rd., Delowe, Greenbriar, Cascade) flipped. Strange (or ironic?) how the opposite is occuring now.


me thinks i'll hit up the library in the next few days...


I added a link to wikipedia's definition of blockbusting. the way mom used the term, I too thought it was some sinister govt plan... not so, just the crazy old "free market" at work. but that kind of misconception is at the heart of this book: the messy and forced end of segregation drove people to mistrust and eventually secede from the public sphere.


i loved that book. especially the detail of specific street intersections, buildings, and addresses really help to bring it home. nothing much has changed with formal black political power - the privatization of grady hospital being a recent example.

the book "living atlanta" contains less biting analysis but i also recommend that if you haven't read it. an oral history that covers different aspects of the city before wwii, arranged thematically. i learned, for example, the reason there were no black bellmen in atlanta when the hyatt regency was built. during the 1930s a fascist group called the blackshirts picketed hotels that gave black people front of the house jobs while there were unemployed whites. some older coworkers at the hyatt shared that they'd moved from laundry, dishwashing and housekeeping to the front of the house after a boycott by sclc and some other groups.

Dan Slagle

It's been a couple of years since I read it, but it's still in the stack next to my bedstand. I enjoyed it, learned some things, and did a good deal of reflecting. I seem to recall my only problem with the book was its subtitle.


Hey Uncle Dan, thanks for reading and commenting. I might be due to reread that book. Want to know a secret? That water tower on my masthead is on the former grounds of Prestolite in East Point. Just a little trivia...

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