Has being a part of this process changed you in any way,given you insight or perspective that you didn’t have before or resonated with any beliefs, priorities or convictions that you hold dear?
It’s interesting being a white dude adapting a number of stories by young African American writers, many of whom have written stories reflective of problems in their west side community. While I live in Atlanta, I’ve long been largely unfamiliar with the west side neighborhoods. The irony and parallels of Joel Chandler Harris receiving credit for extant African American folktales he merely transcribed, and my adapting of this book aren’t lost on me, but it’s a conversation I’m interested in being a part of, and a conversation I think the city needs to continue to have if we want to grow beyond some of the racial horrors of our past. Why have these parts of Atlanta been for the most part overlooked for the past 50 years, and why is there a sudden interest around the area again? And does that interest hold stock in honoring the rich African American history of that community while cherishing those residents that have long lived there, or will, like we’ve seen along other parts of the BeltLine, those important families and communities be displaced? I hope for the best, but I expect the worst. I fear that the reasons why for so long the west side has been home to a largely neglected African American population will be the same reasons that drive that community from that area.