After the civil war, when examining Atlanta’s infrastructure, it becomes apparent that much of it was centered around the black community. However, this was done in a negative manner, with segregation as the main goal. The roads themselves were designed to hinder the mobility of newly freed slaves, and this has had a lasting impact on modern day travel, with a larger population now using the roads.

Looking at the situation through a racial perspective, it becomes clear why events unfolded in this manner. Many people were resentful that slaves were now free and sought ways to continue exploiting them for cheap labor. To achieve this, the infrastructure was designed to impede the movement of former slaves. As a result, many of them were unable to leave and were forced to remain and work in the same areas they were once enslaved. This led to an influx of people staying in these areas, exacerbating traffic issues over time. The black community was effectively isolated and faced significant challenges in traveling, making staying in these areas a forced decision for them.

Being stuck where they were, there was not much the black community didn’t have much of  an option. Nobody was in power to oppose the roads being created. Today the roads are a complete mess that causes a lot of traffic jams which are almost uncontrollable. This entire mess can be traced back using a racial lens on how newly freed slaves were treated down to even the roads to oppose them.

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April 5, 2024 11:51 pm

This writing explains how Atlanta’s infrastructure was designed to control the movement of freed slaves, leading to modern-day traffic problems. How can you undo the effects of past racism in city planning, as this writing suggests?

Cianna White
April 5, 2024 2:12 pm

Hi Makai! The cover photo is so bold and captivating. Is it abstract or is it a highway? Your title is very bold as well. I liked that when I read your piece it felt like you were talking to me. Your organization and your straightforward approach lifted your piece.

April 5, 2024 2:04 pm

Your cover art is really intriguing. I am not sure if its based off your concept of slavery which was in your essay but it looks like its a symbolization of cotton. Which if that is the case it was very clever on showing that in your cover art and doing a deeper dive into it with evidence and support from your essay. Wonderful job Makai!

April 5, 2024 1:13 pm

The image makes the cars on the road resemble cotton, I’m not sure if that was intentional but it certainly caught my attention. I really like the way you keep circling back to how things that seem mundane today can be seen through a racial lens. The title really brought me in as well.

Ben kelly
April 5, 2024 1:10 pm

I like how you wrote about instead of surface-level discomforts you addressed the systemic barriers embedded within the very fabric of our cities. By contextualizing the traffic jam within this historical legacy of hate and segregation, the review encourages readers to view the issue through a wider socioeconomic and racial justice lens.

April 5, 2024 9:35 am

The image definitely caught my attention. Though its hard to describe whats really going on I like how you incorporated systemic racism in your analysis. I think it plays a key role and many people use it as a crutch instead of explaining it and its actual effects like you did so I definitely appreciate and took notice to that/

Charlie M
Charlie M
April 5, 2024 4:21 am

What made me interested in this post was the title, and how simple but straightforward it is. It made me want to read more about the reasoning behind why and how traffic is a byproduct. I also like your explanation of the topic and how it was easy to read and understand.

April 4, 2024 11:15 pm

I really liked your writing! I noticed that through your analysis, you essentially spoke about what we today call “systemic racism”. Racism is kind of engrained in pretty much everything part of “American life” but through the eyes of the marginalized. It feels like the intent of all this was to send someone into a spiral of questions, and what-ifs. I appreciate your analysis because it gives me something to think about.

April 4, 2024 9:54 pm

First off, I would like to say that your title is very good. It stands out well and is very engaging. Your post sheds very good light on the history of the reconstruction period which is very important to understand when reading A Traffic Jam. I like how informative all of this is and it is well written.

April 4, 2024 2:52 pm

This comment is for Makai.

The racial dynamics of post-Civil War Atlanta are deftly explored in this analysis, which emphasizes how infrastructure was purposefully designed to maintain segregation and impede black community mobility. Your perceptive analysis highlights the lasting effects of this discriminatory planning, helping to illuminate the ways in which past injustices still influence current affairs, especially when it comes to urban growth and transportation. It is admirable how you can clearly and thoroughly tackle difficult historical and social topics.

Question- How do you think acknowledging the historical context of Atlanta’s infrastructure development, particularly in relation to its impact on the black community, can inform efforts to address modern-day transportation challenges and promote equity in urban planning?

Last edited 10 days ago by Tykira
April 3, 2024 3:11 pm

The title of this essay is what caught my attention as well as the image. The title was a great eye catcher since it really seems like you want to make sure you get the point across. The image using the lights on the highway while also having the “bad” area of the city is dark and gloomy also helps show how the city doesn’t want to prioritize or try to focus on the area that really needs it the most.

Imisioluwa Josiah
April 3, 2024 3:10 pm

I like the way this was being thought off because it shows a different approach as to how the traffic Jam infrastructure came to be. It wasn’t just for the discomfort of lower income neighborhoods but also to bear hate, and restriction of movements of these said people. This makes a lot of sense due to how much former slave owners hated that idea.

April 3, 2024 1:56 pm

changes up how you can relate traffic to slavery and life today

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