The Porch Press

Serving the Historic Atlanta Neighborhoods of Grant Park, Ormewood Park, East Atlanta, Benteen Park, Glenwood Park, and environs

The East Atlanta Community Spotlight

Written/Edited by Sarah Spencer, Interview conducted by Leslie Ramirez, and interview transcription by C.K. McGhee

The East Atlanta Community Association (EACA) is working to provide an opportunity for longstanding members of the community to voice their opinions and share their stories. Leslie Ramirez, of House of Ramirez, (H.O.R.), interviewed Ms. Anita Upshaw for our inaugural spotlight feature. The full interview (written/audio) can be found at www.eaca.net.

H.O.R. Ms. Upshaw. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ms. Upshaw: My mother moved here in 1969 with 5 children. We moved to this area during the White flight, that is when Blacks were moving in, and Whites were moving out. In fact, we were one of the first Black families on my street, and this was the first house that my mother bought. As of today, in 2021, we still have that house, I live in the house. We loved this community when we first moved here, not that I don’t like it now, but it has changed quite a bit.

It is quite different, there are a lot of people moving in and there is so much building going on…If you see a little space today, tomorrow they are building on it…Where are all these people going to be? Where are they going to park?

I am a substitute teacher for DeKalb County School System and have been with the DeKalb County School System for 46 years. I worked as a teacher and I retired in 2003, by then I had put in 30 years. The following school year, I started subbing. My school is right down Flat Shoals. It is very convenient for me; I tell people that I live in a bubble. Now that’s one thing about living in East Atlanta; it’s convenient; we have a lot of places that we can get to. I can get my hair and nails done, I can do my grocery shopping, and I can go to work, all within this circle.

I am going to stay in East Atlanta. I have spoken about building a senior community and all this building that they are doing, has anyone thought about that? I am 68 years old right now, but when I get older, I want somewhere to go where I can just sit, where it’s secure, and all the outside work is done. I will not have to do my yard. We need somewhere we can go for those of us who have been here for so long and want to remain here, we need a place where we can go without having to worry about moving out of our neighborhood. I love being in this neighborhood, I like where it sits – the location.

Thanks to Ms. Upshaw for introducing yourself to the community and thank you Leslie Ramirez for facilitating.

The goal is to establish this as a quarterly feature in 2022. If you would like to be featured or would like to nominate a resident in East Atlanta, please reach out to communications@eaca.net and Leslie Ramirez at leslie@houseoframirez.com.