Op-Ed: Atlanta's Dream Detoured...

Patch welcomes letters to the editor and op-ed pieces from local residents and officials.

Credit: Molly Read Woo
Credit: Molly Read Woo
By Molly Read Woo

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Bridge that connects historic black Atlanta neighborhoods to the heart of downtown, is demolished, and Historic Friendship Baptist Church - the sacred space of Atlanta's fight for civil rights for the past 150 years - is being demolished.

Founded by former slaves, the mother church that gave birth to nine other black congregations in and around Atlanta, the birthplace of Spelman College, Atlanta University, and the host to Morehouse, the home church of Maynard Jackson, Jr, the first African-American mayor of any Southern U.S. city - the steadfast sanctuary that was key to not only to the civil rights fight in Atlanta, but for the world - will be razed to make way for a new publicly subsidized football stadium.

This is not the Dream we hoped to see in King's hometown. This is a downfall. To see the church now, desolate, with some of the stained glass windows already removed, is like looking at a corpse at a visitation - A visage of someone loved, with a great spirit that has already departed. Our city should be in mourning, but most people in Atlanta don't even know what we've lost - Our oldest friend, who stood and fought with us from the days just after the Civil War, until now.

But no child will see the inspiring lights or hear the clear and uplifting songs of Atlanta's Historic Friendship again - not in a service or on a school tour - and this treasure of our richest and most admirable history that has inspired and instructed hundreds of thousands of students and congregants to stand up and excel - will be buried without fanfare, to be paved over by a new private-public partnership venture that will probably make someone very rich, but will leave the vast majority of people in this city impoverished - losing not only income, but their brilliant history as well.

This is a sad day in this city. We might celebrate a new museum, which is wonderful, but it's tragic to be losing the one friend who really should be at the opening with us.

Molly Read Woo

JM Hurricane June 25, 2014 at 08:08 AM
Blame it on the Republican, Tea Party, racist, white Mayor we have .........Oh wait, never mind...........
Marc Acampora June 27, 2014 at 07:37 AM
But we HAD to do it this way. 1) The GA Dome is so old that we need a new stadium, 2) the Falcons are so amazing that they deserve a new stadium, 3) Arthur Blank is too poor and not smart enough to run a business without my and your financial support, 4) Atlanta is so densely developed that there was no other location to build a stadium but on the site of a historic church, 5) we have preserved everything else about our history so losing only one historic building is acceptable..... Oh wait, never mind......


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