Meet Columnist Nedra Rhone of Unapologetically ATL
This interview is part of our partnership with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Unapologetically ATL, the newsletter covering a range of topics, from food and drink to entertainment and politics, all through the lens of Black Atlanta. Subscribe to Unapologetically ATL to learn about trends, Black-owned small businesses, events and news shaping the Black culture in Atlanta.
Nedra Rhone is a rockstar. Her credentials go something like this: a journalist with more than twenty years of experience, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her reporting on women in hip-hop, and a longstanding lifestyle columnist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
For Rhone, the decades of hard work have paid off with a bit of creative freedom.
“My favorite part about being a columnist is I feel like I can write about anything. You know, when you’re a reporter, a lot of what you write about is dictated by a beat. But as a columnist, I feel like the world is kind of open to me. And, I really like writing about things that I see happening,” Rhone exclaims.
Like the day Rhone stumbled upon a massive pile of trash while walking her dog. It turned out to be an abandoned landfill, dormant for more than 30 years and finally being redeveloped.
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“And so I went down this rabbit hole, and I’m like, ‘What was that? You know, what was that all about? What’s that landfill? Where’d you come from? How long has it been there? Did anyone know about it?’” Rhone laughs.
That kind of curiosity makes Rhone’s voice special in her role as co-curator of the AJC’s Unapologetically ATL. The newsletter was created as a collaboration between a team of producers to be tailored to Black Atlantans and serve as a platform for Black voices to be celebrated and heard.
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Originally from Chicago, Nedra has called Atlanta home for 17 years.
She says she feels a responsibility as a reporter to highlight the city’s business-friendly environment, especially for small business owners with an entrepreneurial spirit and limited financial resources. Rhone believes that Atlanta is an exceptional place for individuals to grow and succeed while also contributing to the growth and success of the city itself.
“Part of my responsibility as a reporter is to write about [the opportunity Atlanta presents] and let people know that this is somewhere you can go and support not just a business, not just a person, but also, the city itself.”