Just as I left in 2016, major stories on local news read about major stores closing along Deans Bridge Road. Conveniently placed grocery stores and supermarkets were going out of business, leaving the elderly to be more reliant on buses, long walks and other means of transportation.
When heading or leaving from school, the city buses were sometimes a tearful sight on the city's neglect for black lives. Grandmothers on walkers would have eight heavy bags of food. It would take minutes for her to even get on and off the bus. People worried that these women would not have the strength to walk home.
The city is not much of a garden from South to Downtown Augusta, as the scenic view (white people would expect on television) are replaced with abandoned homes and lack of businesses and employment.
The school system is not impressive. White parents will push their kids to private, religious, magnet or homeschooling to avoid the failing public schools that are predominantly black.
Even in my former apartment complex, I noticed white parents would have babies here, but when it was time to put them through school they would move and usually wait no longer than middle school.
Most people in Augusta are bored and yearn for something to do, and most inspire themselves to move and never come back. While growing up and attending grade school, teachers stressed that we need to get of here or we will be killed or in jail. I always stayed out of trouble, so I did not have to think hard about surviving.
When it came to crime, black men were the face of violent offenses, while white men were the face of sexual crimes. What angered me most was the slow development of the city. Most of the funding was on medical and hospital expansions. It's almost a good thing, but really because this gave Augusta residents convenience, since some of the downtown area was gentrified for it.
The Masters Tournament is the biggest lie that Augusta shows the world. Granted, you will see white men in suits talking about their southern heritage or what they do for a living, while black people, segregated in South and Downtown Augusta wait to receive better housing and stable employment.
White people in Augusta are so carefree, shown by the things they talk about and do. When going to school, I would see white folks hogging around the school and neighborhood as early as 6 a.m. As for weekend entertainment, they would attend my school's performing arts theater to watch and listen to orchestra, symphony or a classical foreign films in French or other European languages.
As I am away from Augusta, I still fear gentrification will affect black people, while white people pretend they like golf.