To the faithful readers of The Atlanta Voice, here in Metro Atlanta, throughout the region and our faithful readers nationally, 2018 to this point has indeed been a peculiar year thus far. However, have loads to be thankful for in our community!

First and foremost, our mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was the envy of everyone.

Yes, she appeared in music videos with hometown pop star Ciara, represented the city in a hype video with the Atlanta Falcons and appeared on the cover of Ebony. She also took a stand against President Trump’s controversial and heavy-handed immigration policy by preventing Atlanta from accepting ICE detainees at the United States-Mexico border.

Just last week, the Mayor signed into legislation a multi-billion dollar plan that will overhaul the look and use of the Gulch, as well as bring thousands of jobs to downtown Atlanta. Bottoms also launched Atlanta’s Open Checkbook, allowing the public an insight into expenditures made by the City as she fulfills her campaign promise of open transparency in City Hall.

Further, there are no active investigations into any fraudulent activity connected to the “Mayor named Keisha.”

Secondly, Amazon did not select Atlanta for the location of their East Coast headquarters. Instead, those honors were shared with New York City and D.C.’s Northern Virginia suburbs.

Even though Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos chose New York and D.C. because it is easier to influence Washington from America’s commercial capital and across Interstate 495 in Northern Virginia, Atlanta benefits because the city can regain focus on our own problems like aging infrastructure, MARTA expansion and, again, the affordable housing crisis.

Atlanta, we should be thankful because many of us have legitimate concerns about gentrification and rising property taxes while sizeable tax breaks could have to a $1 trillion company.

Next, we should be thankful, Atlanta, because our fair city truly influences everything related to pop culture. Of course, Atlanta is the capital of African-American culture and what comes out of here makes waves that ripple throughout the entire world.

New rap stars like Gunna, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, Trippie Redd, 21 Savage and current leaders of the new school, Migos, are collectively the tastemakers powering the music business and setting the tone for the culture.

Also, the year’s most talked-about film, “Black Panther” was filmed primarily in Atlanta. Remember the scene where the kids were playing basketball and T’Challa and Shuri talked to the kids on the basketball court? That wasn’t Oakland, California. That building and basketball court sits on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta.

The United Nations scene was filmed at City Hall. The scene filmed in Korea? Yes, that was the Metropolitan Lofts.

Atlanta could be considered as Wakanda in more ways than one. There’s a reason why our highways are choked with traffic every day! Instead of Vibranium, Atlanta has the Sauce!

Lastly, every day, Atlantans must be thankful that our beloved city remains both a beacon and a blueprint for inclusivity that the rest of the American South follows. The freedom of individual expression that most take for granted, is the reason many people relocate to our city.

Atlanta is a place that is a refuge for many, a safe haven for some and a city in which all can thrive. Whether its education, healthcare, music, religion, sports, small businesses and entertainment, the city of Atlanta remains number one.

These are indeed turbulent political times in our state and in our nation, but above it all, if we focus on what is great in our lives and show gratitude, the unfortunate turn of events will eventually pass on — like they always do.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *