Billboard Reads “Black People Are Being Pushed Out,” But What Does That Mean?
BY: NISHA THOMAS
Drivers who may be heading down I-285 near the infamous Camp Creek Parkway of Atlanta, Georgia have now been faced with an unlikely billboard that they wouldn’t pass on any other day.
Displayed across a black background, you can see it written in bold, capitalized, white letters, saying: BLACK PEOPLE ARE BEING PUSHED OUT OF ATLANTA.
This controversial message, which seems to have everyone confused and suspicious, is referring to the gentrification of the famous city. This comes at a time when concerns about affordable housing have been increasingly forced into the spotlight as a major topic of conversation.
Back in March of last year, Rev. Joe Beasley, a longtime civil rights leader and activist of Atlanta, accused the former mayor of the city Shirley Franklin of “causing the gentrification of Atlanta” in an email.
Just a couple of months later, a group of housing activists met at City Hall and called for new policies in order to help the renters of Atlanta, as well as homeowners, slide past rising housing costs and stagnant wages that seem to interrupt the lives of Atlanta natives.
When the Journey Men’s Shelter was closed back in November, only after serving the community for more than 30 years, the executive director of the shelter named gentrification and the unaffordable rise is housing costs as the reason why they were losing their homes.
Those were just a couple of examples of the gentrification method that has seemed to take over Atlanta and the surrounding areas where people have lived their whole lives.
Along with the eye-opening billboard message, there is also a website URL, date and disclaimer that the sign has been paid for by Black Channel Films.
After going to the URL, we’d later learned that the sign is in favor of a new documentary called “Gentrified.” The site also says that it takes out the time to explore “the unspoken ethnic component behind the most devastating socioeconomic movement in American society today.”
This film was shown just this past Saturday at the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and was also followed by an open discussion and Q&A with Mary Gill.
Tickets are priced at $20 as this film will also be showing in major cities such as New York, Chicago, London, Detroit, Houston and Washington D.C.
Check out the official trailer for the film and tell us what you think: