Julian M. Hill


Capitalism’s Contradictions in Atlanta. The Park Place and Auburn Avenue intersection in downtown Atlanta juxtaposes capitalism’s shiny veneer and putrid underbelly. Among Georgia State University’s multi-story buildings, Woodruff Park’s lush trees, and the vibrant Sweet Auburn neighborhood once home to Martin Luther King, Jr., diverse youth vying for class ascension and minority-owned businesses exemplifying Atlanta’s claim as an entrepreneurship hub populate the sidewalks. A deeper look, however, reveals cracks within the “Real Wakanda” facade. Wooden boards cover commercial space doors along Auburn Avenue, houseless folks support each other and request help from others around Woodruff Park, and students born into poverty face the reality of being less likely than anywhere in the country to escape it. Moreover, significant numbers of Atlantans suffer despite pockets of wealth among Black entertainers and entrepreneurs who generally live in the suburbs. When capitalist markets fail, communities worldwide have turned to cooperation, and Atlanta is no different.