Them A Novel Author:Nathan McCall Barlowe, a single, African American in his forties, shares a ramshackle house with his nephew in an Atlanta neighborhood, the old Fourth Ward, known both as the center of the civil rights movement and for its main street, Auburn Avenue, once the richest Negro street in the world. Barlowe works as a printer and passes the time reading books from ... more »the neighborhood library and hanging out with other local black men at the corner store. When a white married couple buys and renovates the house next door, everyone tries to go about their daily business, but fear and suspicion build as more whites move in, making once familiar people and places disappear. Superbly developed characters, realistic story line, and descriptions that capture the essence of American urban experience--in black and white--make this a truly great American novel.« less
As someone who is born and raised inner-city, reading a fictional story about gentrification was hard for me at times. Some parts hit close to home, others I kind of rolled my eyes at the outrageousness of certain scenarios. Nonetheless, I have always enjoyed Nathan McCall as a story-teller. I wouldn't reference this story as a way of saying that this is typically how neighborhoods become integrated, but it was a good story of what happened to these particular people.