City StoriesGeorgia

Augusta, GA

The Short Augusta Georgia Ghetto Story

Augusta is a city that is about two hours away from Atlanta and has about 200,000 people with most living in the urban communities of the Augusta Georgia ghetto.

Neighborhoods of the Augusta Georgia ghetto are the 9th Ward around James Brown and Laney Walker Boulevards, the notorious Bottom on East Boundary, the Hilltop and Harrisburg on the West Side, the short strip of Old Savannah, Hyde Park aka the Swamp, and the Sunset area that was the former home Cherry Tree Crossing housing complex before it was torn down.

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Further away from the downtown area of Augusta is Apple Valley along the Mike Padgett Highway going passed Interstate 520, the number of apartments and sections of Barton Village off of Barton Chapel Road, Meadowbrook, Woodlake, and other sections of the city’s South Side.

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A city with more than a quarter of the population living under the poverty level, mostly in the area of Martin Luther King and Laney Walker Boulevards, as well as a few other communities, has had a black population since its beginning.

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Due to Augusta’s location in the south, the city’s black community was first started by people that were enslaved and came from the nearby area of Silver Bluff in South Carolina.

One of the first areas for black residents was around what is now Broad Street, which still has a community in the Harrisburg area, going towards East Boundary.

By the early 1900s, blacks started to place themselves in what became to be the Laney Walker neighborhood.  As the community was growing, it expanded to an area around what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, called Bethlehem.

Other sections of the city that were one of the few original black communities in the city, West Augusta, Sand Hills, known as the Hilltop and formerly called Elizabethtown, next to a high end community of Augusta called Summerville.

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Starting in the 1910s, zoning laws that were racially created forced blacks to create communities of their own.

Over the years, as people moved to places far away from the city’s center, like in Richmond and Columbia counties, Augusta slowly became a predominantly African-American city, with neighborhoods from along Laney Walker Boulevard to all the way passed Tobacco Road.

Currently the majority of Augusta’s neighborhoods are all-black communities.

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Check out more on different communities in the state of Georgia.

*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.

Augusta History Sources:
NPS.gov “African Americans in Augusta”. http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/augusta/africanamericanaugusta.html
N-Georgia.com. “Visit Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta Georgia”. http://www.n-georgia.com/nps-augusta-springfield-church.html