They’ve always been present yet efforts to invest in their communities have been uneven

Reverend Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams bump elbows.
Reverend Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams bump elbows.
Rev. Raphael Warnock, Democratic candidate for Georgia senate, greets Stacey Abrams, former candidate for Georgia governor, during a campaign event near Coan Park in Atlanta, Ga., on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Kiana Jackson isn’t interested in mobilizing Southern Black voters with the notion that the fate of our democracy rests in their hands. As the 23-year-old Albany, Georgia native and regional organizer for Black Voters Matter prepares voters ahead of two local runoffs that will determine majority control of the U.S. Senate, she’s continuing to focus on local issues. This includes the election of a public service commissioner on Jan. 5, the same day as the senate runoffs. “We can’t sell people in Georgia, especially poor, minority communities on ‘Hey, Georgia is the one that’s going to save America.’ …

Corner Store Chronicles

When Carver Neighborhood Market was vandalized earlier this year, patrons rallied to support the grocer that offers fresh produce in one of Atlanta’s food deserts

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Illustration: Derrick Dent

When 2020 is said and done, it’ll likely become known as the year of massive uncertainty. But with so much instability (from Covid-19 to crimson skies on the West Coast), corner store culture remains familiar. LEVEL’s “Corner Store Chronicles” series pays homage to the power of the store that delivers the warmth and care that ACME will never replicate. Whether known as bodegas, tienditas, or another term of endearment where you’re from, our hoods would be nothing without them.

Days after protests broke out in June over the death of Rayshard Brooks, South Atlanta’s Carver Neighborhood Market became one of several sites of collateral damage. The shop — located half a mile from where Brooks was killed by police outside of a Wendys — had its windows smashed and walls tagged with graffiti deriding the shop for gentrification, destruction that epitomized the injustice-fueled tensions that engulfed the city in the spring and summer months. …

The social trend is watering your timeline with much-needed tranquility

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Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Nearly two years ago, Nelson ZêPequéno posted an Instagram video of himself transforming a cerulean Nintendo 64 controller into a planter for succulents. A childhood relic becoming an artful vessel for growth is a common theme in the artist’s work; he’s also transformed a rotary phone, a clock, and a record player into homes for his plants.

All are stunning sights to behold, but ZêPequéno wants the world to know that he’s not the only Black man with a green thumb. His most poignant work isn’t even on his personal account — it’s at Black Men With Gardens, where more than 65,000 followers marvel at not just massive thaumatophyllum or leaning cacti but also the men who care for them. …

Jewel Wicker

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