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Unveiling Lightning: A Lost Chapter of Atlanta's Heritage

Welcome back to the "Who Lived Here? Where Did They Go?" documentary series, where we delve into the stories of vibrant African-American communities that were uprooted in the pursuit of progress. In this installment, we shine a light on Lightning. Join us as we engage with strong voices of Atlanta's history, Donzellar Lawson Farrow and Reverend Jerome Banks.

More About Lightning

Lightning was a neighborhood just west of Downtown Atlanta, Georgia, boarded by Magnolia Street, Simpson Street (now Joseph E. Boone Blvd.), and Northside Drive (US 41). The neighborhood of Lightning was one of Atlanta’s earliest communities. Located just west of downtown Atlanta, it was home to a Black working-class community.

Although loved by its residents, the area was considered a slum area with houses and streets in bad condition. This community was one of the last neighborhoods to get paved roads and electric power. Sources say, the origins of Lightning’s name, is from an old nickname for moonshine, to the speed at which residents could draw a knife in a fight.

Read more about Lightning in our Monograph Here:


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