• Atlanta;
  • black counterpublic;
  • racialization;
  • urban development


Recognizing the connections between the construction of urban space and racial identity, this article explores an urban redevelopment scheme launched in 2004 by Big Bethel ame Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Known as the “Renaissance Walk,” Big Bethel's project is a $45 million dollar redevelopment plan to turn an adjacent city block into a mixed-use development. By looking at the racialization of place from the perspective of those who live, work, and organize along Auburn Avenue, one of the most historically significant African American business corridors in the United States, I contend that Big Bethel's redevelopment project is emblematic of contemporary black counterpublic spaces and links the redevelopment project undertaken by Big Bethel with African American identity positions.