East Lake Meadow: A Public Housing Story

East Lake Meadow: A Public Housing Story

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

Pictured: Eva Davis leans against a telephone pole, the buildings of of East Lake Meadows appear behind her. Atlanta, GA. September 8, 1986. Use restricted after June 3, 2020.

Provided by PBS

East Lake Meadows, the public housing project opened by the Atlanta Housing Authority in 1970 and demolished a generation later, is the subject of a new documentary by Sarah Burns and David McMahon. 

The film tackles the impact of racism on housing while also exploring the daily lives of those who called East Lake Meadows home. East Lake Meadow: A Public Housing Story, which is executive produced by Ken Burns, encores Friday, March 27, 2020 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-World 21.2/Cable 1275. Share your thoughts about the program on Twitter or other social media during or after the program with hashtag #EastLakePBS

The film tells the stories of more than a dozen families who lived in the community between the 1970s and its demolition in the mid-1990s, including the Lightfoot family and four generations of the family of Eva Davis, the long-time tenant leader at East Lake Meadows. The film documents the tremendous hardships faced by East Lake families; the lack of access to grocery stores and fresh produce; the impact of devastating unemployment and poverty; conditions that included mold, leaky pipes, and collapsing walls and ceilings; and the seemingly ubiquitous presence of crime, drugs and guns. It also follows the births of children, celebration of holidays, daily activities in schools and the ways in which residents were “making a way out of no way.”

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East Lake Meadows tells the stories of more than a dozen families who lived in the community between the 1970s and its demolition in the mid-1990s, including the Lightfoot family and four generations of the family of Eva Davis, the long-time tenant leader at East Lake Meadows. The film documents the tremendous hardships faced by East Lake families; the lack of access to grocery stores and fresh produce; the impact of devastating unemployment and poverty; conditions that included mold, leaky pipes, and collapsing walls and ceilings; and the seemingly ubiquitous presence of crime, drugs and guns. It also follows the births of children, celebration of holidays, daily activities in schools and the ways in which residents were “making a way out of no way.” East Lake Meadow will makes its television debut on WXXI-TV on Tuesday, March 24 at 8 p.m. 

East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers.

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