Learn the history of East Lake Meadows, a former public housing community in Atlanta. Stories from residents reveal hardship and resilience, and raise critical questions about race, poverty, and who is deserving of public assistance.
- [Woman] When we moved to East Lake Meadows,
that was just like heaven to us.
(police siren wailing)
Until it became a nightmare.
- This previously all-white part of Atlanta,
known as East Lake,
became available for African Americans to move in.
- I hate to leave,
but I don't wanna be the only white family living here.
- I figured they were gonna be fine
because they were brand new.
After a couple of years, they were not okay.
- [Announcer] Residents remember
when it was a safe place to live,
but now, they fear for their lives.
- People that are living here on borrowed time.
- Public housing has always been
both a financial proposition and a moral one,
about which people both need it and somehow deserve it.
- We were all fanning, they need to do something
about this place.
They did something, all right.
- I don't think we ever gave enough credit
to people who worked very hard
to build a place for themselves.
There was no one else who was going to be there.
- Even in poverty, there's always that beacon of light.