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Ken Burns' 'East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story' premieres on WNED-TV

Thomas O'Neil-White

East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on WNED-TV. The film delves into issues of race, poverty and public assistance in the infamous East Lake Meadows public housing development in Atlanta, Georgia.

Having stood for 30 years, the complex was demolished in the early 2000s and in its place now stands mixed income condos.

Filmmaker David McMahon says people are often stereotyped and negatively defined because of their standard of living. In East Lake Meadows, McMahon tells the stories of former residents.

“Everyone can relate to their stories, everyone can empathize. People can begin to understand why it is they ended up living there. For a lot of them, this was housing of last resort,” McMahon said.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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