A new exhibition debuted on the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail in April highlighting the rich history of Westview, a historically-significant community in southwest Atlanta. “Once Divided, Reunited” is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities “Public Humanities Project: Historic Places” grant program. The project shares stories of a past including business development, political activism, civil rights struggle, and community building. In the process, “Once Divided, Reunited” also reveals troubling records of war, discrimination, and displacement.
Residents, civic advocates, cultural organizations, and educational institutions collaborated to ask the questions: “What can we do to help connect a community that was once divided?” and “How can we use the BeltLine to help unite divided communities?” All of this is part of a “usable past” that neighbors pledged to consider and share in hopes of working together to shape a strong and connected future.
Located between Lucile Avenue to the south and Westview Drive to the north, nine signs line both sides of the trail. By bringing history to the Atlanta BeltLine, it becomes accessible to everyone, outside of museum walls. It also gives a deeper understanding of Westview and its powerful past along the former railroad corridor.
“Once Divided, Reunited” has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. The exhibition is the result of a multi-year partnership between Westview residential and business neighbors, the Westview Community Organization, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI), Atlanta History Center, Georgia State University Department of History, New Georgia Encyclopedia, and Georgia Humanities. ABI is proud to be a rare recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).