By Christina Santi
Atlanta rapper T.I., born Clifford Harris Jr., is on a mission to rebuild the now desolate neighborhood of Center Hill where he grew up. In a recent interview with Inc. magazine, Harris explained how he plans to help the community by building a grocery store and affordable housing for its residents.
Having grown up in the city during the crack epidemic, T.I. said it drastically changed the community. “Back then, that part of town was considered the lower end of the middle class. After the crack era, the community stalled, and from 1994 to 2012, it became an extremely desolate area for business,” he told the publication. “There’s no major grocery store chain. There’s no fresh produce. There’s no CVS. There are liquor stores.”
Although Atlanta is experiencing an influx of new residents, the revitalizing efforts have been focused on upper-class areas excluding the working class and poverty-stricken neighborhoods. They are left to live in a food desert with no new attractions being built to secure job opportunities.