Collier Heights

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Georgia Tech Student Design
Lydia A. Harris: Georgia Tech Student Design, Collier Heights, 2013, archival pigment print.

I imagine that when most people in Atlanta hear the words “Bankhead Highway” or “Northwest Atlanta” they think of the ghetto. At least that is what the connotation has been my entire life– that anywhere outside of Midtown is not somewhere you want to be after dark. But there is a neighborhood in Northwest Atlanta that is beautifully preserved and looks like something out of an episode of Mad Men. Collier Heights was the first Atlanta community built, developed, and inhabited by upwardly mobile black people for upwardly mobile black people.

Photographer Lydia A. Harris was visiting Atlanta from Boston in 2010 and stumbled upon this neighborhood of custom brick ranch and split-level homes. As she started to research the area she found out that it was home to a who’s who of black elite– Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill McKinney, Ralph David Abernathy, and Donald Lee Hollowell, to name a few. She kept taking pictures of the community and the result is an art exhibit, book, and upcoming documentary.

Read about it here:

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