East Atlanta in the 1980s

Twenty years after the first blockbusting integration in East Atlanta, the neighborhood remained integrated with a 60% black and 40% white/other racial mix. Property values had become depressed during the panic of transition, however, and slumlords allowed many houses to deteriorate. This made real estate values much lower than other areas of town. The neighborhood’s appearance and reputation suffered. The name “East Atlanta” almost disappeared as a neighborhood reference by 1980. Over 60% of the shops in the East Atlanta Village were boarded up or used to store old tires. Even so, the neighborhood remained stable, with many people continuing to raise their families and go about their lives. There were also merchants both white and black who remained in East Atlanta, providing goods and services as well as employment opportunities to residents of the neighborhood.

In 1981, the East Atlanta Community Association was founded to bolster a sense of community in the neighborhood and work to improve the quality of life. Many improvements have been made since then, thanks to the efforts of many dedicated residents and businesses.

Nicolia Gruendler