Atlanta skyline
I may have been Cali-born but home is now ATL and I got the mortgage to prove it.

The first time I ever visited Atlanta was back in 1998. I rode along on the drive from New Orleans with some dude I spent far too long dating to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with his mother in Decatur.  I still recall the brilliance of the Fall colors along the 75. I likened the rolling terrain of this southern city to the emerald hills I loved in the San Francisco Bay Area. That trip, we only saw his mom’s house and  The friggin’ Varsity. I was, obviously, underwhelmed. I made a promise then that I’d be back to experience the City of Atlanta on my own terms one day.

Eleven years later, I made Atlanta my home…but even that experience was again through the lens of another.  Though both places are amazing, there’s only so many times a person can eat at Surin of Thailand or Friday at MJQ. I smashed the lens on those glasses last year.

Admittedly when my Atlanta-based marriage ended, I was scared. I was no longer a slim, trim carefree college co-ed; I was a new mother who’d spent the last three years of her adult life birthing babies, staring at a computer screen, collecting body fat and turning more and more into a hermit. Coming out of 2018, I hardly recognized myself. But in February of 2019, though I was unsure of what the future would hold as a single mom, I remembered who TF I was—as well as the promise I’d made to explore this City in a Forest on my own terms. And I got excited, Y’all. Hence, I took full advantage of the unique pleasures of co-parenting and foraged out into the great wild that is Atlanta. Here’s what I learned:


Admittedly, living in this center of Black excellence, civil rights history and southern culture can be challenging at times because (very much like the rest of the U.S.) Atlanta has had a lot of difficulty shaking its slavery roots. BUT…

Every day I spend in Atlanta as #Boysmomma, solo-rolling, freedom-fighting, resto-hopping,  art-loving, concert-going, booty-shaking, roller-skating, trail-hiking, history-addicted, my Black is Beautiful Nikki, I am reminded of why Atlanta is synonymous with BLACK. Seriously, Y’all. It’s like living in a never-ending family reunion complete with all the best music to line dance to; all the best soul food to both bring on and kick the ITIS; and all the OGs to sit and chat with about how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go.

So this Black History Month, I want to talk about the past, present and future of Black culture, development and power right here in Atlanta, Georgia. And I’ll sprinkle in a little personal flavor too…because honestly, I’m now Atlanta and Atlanta is now me.

So tune in tomorrow for the first post. One.

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