It is a town that claims to celebrate its history. But in fact it mostly Disney-fies its history. It fits everything into a false narrative, that of a great, humane urban place rising from the ashes of war, a progressive place, an up-and-coming and growing place.
Anything that seems to question this history gets forgotten. The outright racism of Henry Grady’s “New South” speech of 1881, summed up as “we still hate blacks but we’re ready to do business.”
The 1895 Cotton States Exposition and the re-segregation of the city that followed.
The 1906 race riot, perpetrated entirely by whites spurred on by lying editors competing for the governorship on the issue of who would move against black voting rights faster? Forgotten.
The 1915 Atlanta bag mill strike, which broke the back of unionization in the south for generations? What strike? Give us “Gone With the Wind” instead, the David O. Selznick film which, while not “Birth of a Nation” didn’t have the courage to celebrate future Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel at its premiere?