With nearly 90,000 people making Atlanta their new home between 2016 and 2017 and more than 75,000 doing so in 2019, one may wonder what magnetic influence this city possesses.
Atlanta houses some of the most influential artists and celebrities of this generation, including Usher, Monica, T.I., Gucci Mane, Migos, and many more. The city has long been a home for the hip-hop music industry and more recently transformed into a burgeoning site for the film industry. In 2008, former Governor Sonny Perdue signed a tax incentive to increase major film production in Georgia. Writer Eliana Dockterman’s article “How Georgia Became the Hollywood of the South: Time Goes Behind the Scenes” reveals that more major feature films were made in Georgia than in California, spending over two billion in Atlanta alone.
In owning and operating his entertainment studio and being the first Black American in history to do so, Tyler Perry makes regular contributions to Atlanta’s film-driven transformation. “While you’re fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down in Atlanta building my own,” Perry declared during his speech at the 2019 BET awards.
Film and music aside, Atlanta also holds significant historical influence. Atlanta is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many other civil right leaders. Between 1940 and 1970, Atlanta was known as the “Cradle of the Civil Right Movement,” the city became the center for the movement as Black leaders fought for the right to vote, access to public places, and the educational opportunities for Black Americans. The well-known Historical Black Colleges and Universities in Atlanta—Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Clark Atlanta University—were heavily involved in the movement’s activities. Between the history, music, film, and talent that comes out of Atlanta, it is easy to see the origin of the city’s popularity, but the professional and entrepreneurial success rate is another draw.
Money goes a long way in Atlanta, and the city was voted one of the most affordable big cities to live in the United States by to Walletwyse. According to KNOWAtlanta, the city also holds the awards for the number one city for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers for graduates, the second-best city for professional opportunities, the third best city to start a career, and the fifth best city for entry level jobs. Atlanta offers all of this while maintaining a reputation for reasonable living and having a diverse culture rooted in opportunity.
Javon Chanel is a freelance writer and content creator who lives in Houston, TX. Javon Chanel is also the creator and co-host of the GoldenGurlz podcast that can be streamed on Apple and Spotify.