It seems that many folk have had quite enough of shows like ‘Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta’, ‘Atlanta Housewives’ or any other show that paints the black people of Atlanta in a disparaging light. This was the point Atlanta native Kelly Smith Beaty was trying to get across when she wrote the essay, “Will the Real Black People of Atlanta Please Stand Up?’ , which has since gone viral.
In the essay, Beaty asks, “How is it that a city which was once the crowning jewel in the story of black America has allowed itself to be positioned as the melting pot of black affliction? The Atlanta that I knew and grew up in was one of great pride and self-respect. Our achievements were known across the globe, as people from far and wide would often respond, ‘Wow, I hear that black people are really doing their thing down there,’ when I would tell them I’m from Atlanta. Today that assertion is often met with, ‘Yoooo….I hear Atlanta’s got them bangin’ strip clubs.’…Really?!?”
Then Beaty makes a suggestion to people who want to get to know the real Atlanta.
“If you’d like to make a reality show about prominent housewives, I’d suggest doing a retrospective on the wife of Alonzo Herndon – a former slave turned businessman who went on to found the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, became the city’s largest black property owner by 1900, and made history as Atlanta’s first black millionaire,” Beaty wrote. “His first wife’s name was Adrienne Herndon and she was a teacher at Atlanta University.”
Beaty also noted that “Lovette Twyman Russell, wife of the company’s current CEO, Michael Russell, is stylish, sassy, and savvy. I’ve never met her, but I’d bet she’s brimming with reality-worthy one-liners and sound bites.”
You wouldn’t know it from the reality mess that comes out of Atlanta.