Home History Sweet Auburn Avenue

Sweet Auburn Avenue

Cars driving through Auburn Avenue.

Originally called Wheat Street, Auburn Avenue was the commercial, cultural and spiritual center of African-American life in Atlanta until the 1960s when the Westside became more fashionable.

The area, known as Sweet Auburn, was a commercial corridor for the emerging African-American middle class. Since Auburn Avenue was home to financial institutions, bustling retail and a large consolidation of African American wealth, the unofficial mayor John Wesley Dobbs coined the term “Sweet Auburn.”

Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta Life Insurance, The Royal Peacock and Atlanta Daily World, the nation’s first successful black-owned newspaper, were located on Auburn Avenue.

Haley Haas, SPR Atlanta

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