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Atlanta’s Wealthiest and Whitest District Wants to Secede

Some residents are pushing to make Buckhead its own city, the latest in a series of political ruptures by race and class across the metro area. 

Buckhead City Committee CEO Bill White.

Buckhead City Committee CEO Bill White.

Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage for Bloomberg Businessweek

On the night of Aug. 7, Kenon Jennings was found shot near Hide Kitchen & Cocktails, a popular hookah lounge in one of the many booming business strips of Atlanta’s Buckhead area. Jennings later died, becoming one of 65 people murdered in Atlanta as of that week in 2021, compared with 46 murdered during the same period in 2020.

Jennings was also the ninth person murdered in Atlanta’s police Zone 2, which encompasses Buckhead, up from six murders the previous year. For Bill White, who lives in Buckhead, the killing was yet another sign that the area known for its mansions, high-end restaurants, and luxury stores needs to take public safety into its own hands.