Via Lisa Hagen of WABE

A Fight for Peoplestown


A story of gentrification in Atlanta

Keisha Lance Bottoms and the latest Atlanta city council administration are in for a fight against Peoplestown residents over land in proximity to the latest GSU Turner Field purchase.

Bertha Darden and fellow Peoplestown residents have been putting up a 2 year battle against Keisha Lance Bottoms and the city of Atlanta to keep their homes. Darden, local Housing Justice League organizers and residents such as Max Murphy are fighting an eminent domain lawsuit against the city to keep their homes as plans to gentrify the Turner Field area grow.

The history of Atlanta, black representation and the nature of gentrification go back much farther than just Turner Field and Peoplestown. This all began in November of 2016 when Georgia State University purchased Turner Field to build a new football stadium and to revitalize the forgotten Peoplestown community next to the old baseball stadium. Since the news of the purchase, residents, organizers, and students from across Atlanta have gathered to meet with Georgia State administrators about the ramifications of the purchase on local residents.

Residents such as Tanya Washington, Georgia State University Professor, is one of the few residents left on her block due to pressure to sell to the city.

“The city of Atlanta has initiated a lawsuit against me and my neighbors,” said Washington. “And they right now own legal title to this house.” in a recent WABE interview.

Social Media in many regards has kept news of the latest attempts at land acquisition in the forefront. Bottoms most recently had her September 6th case against Beth Darden and her family stalled further into the year. Housing Justice League organizers were able to bring 30 people in support of their cause to the courtroom. The fight to end gentrification in the Peoplestown area of Atlanta goes on but many hope to see a strategic win for the native residents of these underserved communities.

While the looming decision of the future of Atlanta hangs in the balance the work to build a more equitable Atlanta holds strong in the hearts of Peoplestown residents.



Clarissa Brooks
Morehouse Advanced News Writing Fall 2018

a freedomways movement journalist fellow. writer. community organizer. A lover of all the complicated bits of this world.