Growing Up in Atlanta: Young Atlanta, New Atlanta

Atlanta Skyline and Highway at Sunset

I moved to Atlanta, Georgia when I was 9 years old.  It was such a dramatic change from living in a close-knit, rambunctious, multicultural city like Philadelphia. After awhile, my sister and I began meeting new people, and I got used to living in Atlanta. Living in Atlanta for the first 5 years, I saw a lot of changes in my self, and in the city. As I began developing into my own person, I started to notice the dynamics of Atlanta beginning to shift, as well. The city began encompassing new business ventures from worldwide companies, acquiring more featured films in music and cinema, and its population started growing rapidly.

Ten years later, Atlanta has been recognized as the “Black Hollywood” of the east coast. The African American population in Atlanta has increased by 31% since 2000. Most of today’s entertainment reality shows or sitcoms are filmed in Atlanta, and Atlanta is emerging as the music capital of the United States. If you want to be recognized in the entertainment business, your best bet is to move to Atlanta. All this happened in the last ten years that I have lived here.

Today, young people in Atlanta have taken over the city. A new wave of influence in pop culture is emerging from the south. From dancers, to hip-hop musicians and artists, actors and actresses, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, and even hairstylists, Atlanta is the place to be for the youth. If you have a social media account on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Vine or Snapchat, you can’t scroll down your timeline without seeing a post, a video or a photo that isn’t Young Atlanta influenced. Young Atlanta is the New Atlanta.

Atlanta_banner_collage_2009

Who and what is New Atlanta? New Atlanta is the appraisal of young people in music, film, entertainment, or any other influential positions that continue to put Atlanta on the map. Most people consider New Atlanta to be musically driven. In 2014, the popular Rap trio group Migos made a remake of the original song “Welcome to Atlanta”, which was published in 2002. Their remake of the song with Jermaine Dupri featured Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan, both new artists from Atlanta, which took the Hip-Hop game by storm as it evoked fresh face ATLiens. Both the original “Welcome to Atlanta” and “New Atlanta” songs illustrated a picture to the world that Atlanta is a place of growth, change, competition, and originality. For years cities like New York City, LA, Philly, D.C. , Miami, and Chicago have been noted for their major influences on the U.S. , but in the last 10-20 years, Atlanta has had a gravitational pull of amazing opportunities for young people.

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For over 12 years, I’ve watched Atlanta grow in many ways. It has expanded in size, in both population and commercial residency. It has opened up avenues and doors for creative, talented, and hard-working young people, especially black youths to accomplish any dreams they want. Also, it is a city that other prevalent cities aspire to imitate. New and Young Atlanta is the new “American Dream” with a twist. It promotes success, prosperity, freedom, and breaks down old societal barriers, which allows people to be themselves. There are No Expectations in New Atlanta.

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