We can imagine a fantastical world where time travel is possible, yet we cannot conceive of any point in the past, or even the future, where black people can live free. Into this grim possibility arrives Janelle Monáe.
Grandmama’s stank was root and residue of black Southern poverty, and devalued black Southern labor, black Southern excellence, black Southern imagination, and black Southern woman magic. This was the stank from whence black Southern life, love, and labor came. I didn’t fully understand or feel inspired by Grandmama’s stank or freshness until I heard the albums ATLiens and Aquemini from those Georgia-based artists called OutKast.
These photographs by Rusty Miller, taken in the 1960s and ’70s, feature Atlanta’s Summerhill, Old Fourth Ward, and Vine City neighborhoods as well as the MARTA bus line. A careful and intense observer, Miller is known for his often candid and striking images of his subjects.
We city people have lost our connection to wild animals. Our pavement paradise, our automobile enclaves, and the pervasive technologies that sap our powers of observation have blinded us to our earthly neighbors.