my mom lived in atlanta for three years....actually, she lived in panola, one of the many suburbs surrounding atlanta. not too many people actually live in atlanta, more in the suburbs outside the circular highway 285 which surrounds the city itself.
it's mindblowing to see the racism and segregation that still exists there. first off, most of the population os african american. it's a culture shock not seeing the multicultural soup we enjoy here in toronto. most white people live outside of atlanta, even further than the surrounding suburbs. once when i was visiting my mother, i was waiting for the subway and was actualy surprised at all the white people who were waiting with me seeing as i got used to being surrounded by mostly black people. i asked my brother 'hey, where'd all the white folk come from?' to which he responded 'take a look at their hats.' sure enough, they had all come from the braves game and on their way home to outside atlanata suburbia. segregation is plainly evident in downtown atlanta unless a sports event is happenning.
atlanta was also a reminder that much of african american culture there has accepted the mentality portrayed in hip hop videos. it's all about the weave in your hair, the gold fronts, the length of your fingernails, and the rims on your car. i saw granparents driving around with cadillac grills. outkast wasn't lying. such is life in the a.t.l.
so it's not surprising to know that there are still schools that believe in segregation. when you attempt to build an education system that originally separated the races, it's a difficult thing to unlearn what your parents and ancestors have taught you. very few of us in canada, if any, have parents or grandparents still alive who have grown up during the slave times, and the decades after the abolishment of slavery. black people were not allowed to vote until the late sixties or even be allowed to go to university. that kind of mentality doesn't disappear just because a school integrates. hate and segregation is taught at home, and the government has no say in the home school.
after each of my visits to atlanta, i was always proud to return to canada. i'm not saying atlanta is a bad place, cause its not...but i'd never give up the multicultural soup we enjoy here in toronto for anything else. maybe cause here we all have to put up with this stoopid weather before we can even start thinking about our racial differences.