DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A historic metro Atlanta neighborhood is getting new attention. It all centers around what was once Lynwood School, from the days of segregation, now a community center. It is vital to so many.
Lynwood Park is the first historically Black community in DeKalb County.
So many generations of black families filled this neighborhood over the years. Many of the children attended what was a segregated school decades ago, and is now the Lynwood Community Center.
The city of Brookhaven is now recognizing the Black history, so it doesn’t get erased.
Brookhaven councilwoman Linley Jones represents an area that’s also known as Lynwood.
“You know, if you don’t preserve this sort of thing – its lost to history,” Jones said.
It was DeKalb County’s first predominately Black neighborhood more than 50 years ago.
Many say it’s hard to tell today because the area has been gentrified.
Jones said she had no idea that this rec center used to be a segregated school for Black children until a resident told her he was a student there, and he was traumatized by how the new neighbors treated him.
“I said, ‘I’ve gotta know more, nobody knows this, that history is already been lost,’” Jones said.
So to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Jones gathered all of the Lynwood trailblazers who helped integrate DeKalb County schools. She wanted to honor these local civil rights leaders and that led to Brookhaven city officials making the rec center their first historical building.
Charlene Scott-Bowden has a 4th generation family living in Lynwood now.
“I am just so excited that we’re at this point today where we can be honored and be recognized,” Bowden said.
She said her parents, her grandparents and great grandparents would be overjoyed.
“This is pride – there’s honor – there’s, oh my goodness, I wish they could see us now. They would be so happy to know this,” Bowden said.
Bowden also said that growing up in the neighborhood made her feel so safe, not because there wasn’t any crime but because neighbors protected neighbors. She also said that taught her discipline and kept her out of trouble. There were always eyes on her.
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