Forgotten Black Neighborhoods

Proposed World Congress Center Expansion

Map of Proposed World Congress Center Expansion, September 14, 1978

Neighborhood Development Area

Neighborhood Development Area, March 1969

In the 1980s and 1990s, several Black neighborhoods in Atlanta were demolished. This demolition occurred for various reasons. These neighborhoods were lost due to construction, MARTA, expansion of expressways, and the changing landscape of the city.

The desire of the city to expand and grow has caused Black neighborhoods to be lost and their residents to be displaced. They have been removed from maps and forgotten by many.

This section examines and explores the history of two of those lost neighborhoods: Lightning and Johnsontown. Included in the section are archival materials from the Grace Towns Hamilton papers, the Atlanta Urban League, the Atlanta Community Relations Commission collection, and the Atlanta Neighborhood Planning vertical file.

Information from this section of the exhibit was obtained from the following sources:

  1. Lugenia Burns Hope: Black Southern Reformer by Jacqueline Anne Rouse
  2. "How well do you know Atlanta's historically black neighborhoods?" The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  3. "Lightning, Struck: How an Atlanta Neighborhood Died on the Altar of Super Bowl Dreams," The Bitter Southerner
Forgotten Black Neighborhoods