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The Reading List: Stories on Health, Crime, and Race in Atlanta

A guide to some of the most insightful pieces about crime, race, and health in Atlanta

View of downtown Atlanta
A view of downtown Atlanta is seen here. (Tami Chappell/AFP via Getty Images)

If you’re Black and a resident in Atlanta, you know there is no shortage of hot-button issues in this city. Even as national media has increasingly covered crime, education, and politics in Georgia, many of these articles often lack important current and historical context to better understand how these issues actually impact Black locals. And local media is struggling, too, as publications suffer from a lack of resources and diversity. 

Capital B Atlanta’s newsroom hopes to provide some of the necessary context that readers have been missing. Our reporters will focus on stories that affect Black residents throughout the metro area, including news that intersects with topics such as race, health, criminal justice, and housing. 

Because we know that even the most engaged resident might still struggle to keep up with the 24/7 news cycle, we’ve created a suggested reading list for gaining a basic understanding into some of the issues Black Atlantans are currently facing. 


What will it take for APD to change the way it polices itself? – This article, by Sonam Vashi, is a partnership with Type Investigations that investigates the Atlanta Police Department’s previous efforts to reform itself.

Atlanta’s Reforms Won’t Save the Next Rayshard Brooks – This New York Magazine article by Zak Cheney-Rice places some of the reform issues examined in the previous article in the context of the 2020 death of Rayshard Brooks.

Black Southerners Are Bearing the Brunt of America’s Eviction Epidemic – As we continue to talk about evictions throughout metro Atlanta, this 2019 article, from Max Blau at Stateline, adds some much-needed historical context, claiming “evictions have hit no area of the country harder than the South, a region home to most of the top-evicting large and mid-sized U.S. cities, according to a list released by Princeton’s Eviction Lab.”

The Black Mecca – Part One – King Williams examines the mythical legacy of Atlanta as a “Black Mecca.”

How chronic underfunding fueled Georgia’s Covid-19 vaccine woes – Epidemiologist and journalist Keren Landman explores how the state has handled COVID-19 vaccine distribution for Atlanta Magazine.

Further reading, listening, and watching

Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn – This essential book from Gary M. Pomerantz examines the familial lineage and legacies of the families of two Atlanta mayors, Ivan Allen Jr. and Maynard Jackson.

Rage in the Gate City – This book by Rebecca Burns takes a look at the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot. 

East Lake Meadows – This Ken Burns documentary takes a look at a former Atlanta housing project and its larger implications on housing in the city and nation. 

White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism – This book, by Kevin M. Kruse, provides some important understanding to the white supremacy and gentrification discussions we’re having in Atlanta today.

Buried Truths – Pulitzer Prize-winner Hank Klibanoff examines important civil rights cases in the south for NPR.

Bonus: Gaining Ground: The New Georgia – This podcast, co-hosted by our Editor-at-Large Jewel Wicker, provides some insight into some of the ways local voting rights activists organized in 2020.