Skip to comments.The Highway Was Supposed to Save This City. Can Tearing It Down Fix the Sins of the Past?
Posted on 08/07/2019 9:20:53 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Helen Hudson will tell you what the 15th Ward was like when she was a girl. In the 1950s and early 60s, the Syracuse neighborhood was home to thousands of predominantly black residents who had settled in the growing upstate New York city during and after the Great Migration. Those who remember it, like Hudson, describe it as thriving, self-sufficient community they were proud to call home.
Oh my god, the things we had, she said recently, her voice softening with the distinct twang of nostalgia. We had two bowling alleys. We had meat markets.
Charlie Pierce-El will tell you all about it, too. His eyes will light up when he does. Mr. Betsys was the first grocery store in the neighborhood. Restaurants lined Harrison Street, many of them serving soul food. Pierce-El refused to pick a favorite, because they were all favorites, back then, being a young man.
He frequented the five theaters available within a short walking distance, once to see James Brown. He spoke lovingly of his mothers garden and the resources she pooled with neighbors to create fresh meals for his father, an auto detailer, and his 11 siblings.
Hudson, Pierce-El, or any other former residents of the 15th Ward wont lie and say it was a rich neighborhood. But it was the type of working class community where blocks were extensions of families and lack of material wealth was compensated by a sense of belonging.
Yet, to othersto the newspaper writers and the city planners and the real estate developers who had no desire to sell homes to black peoplethe 15th Ward was a slum, filled with cockroaches and blight. To them, it didnt need to be fixed. It needed to be knocked down.
(Excerpt) Read more at jalopnik.com ...
It is amazing what poor people could accomplish when families were intact and worked hard. But they couldn’t be depended on to always vote Democrat then, could they?
There are many similar such areas. All over the country.
Areas that had thriving, close communities, suddenly bulldozed over for freeways. Once that is taken away, it never can be recaptured in the same way. Times change. The economy and demographics also change, providing the setting for a new experience.
Interesting article about my home town. I’m afraid, though, that moving I-81 or not moving it will have little effect on the prospects for Syracuse. It was a thriving manufacturing town in the fifties and sixties, but all of that is gone. Without Syracuse University and some hospitals, the place would become little more than a rest stop on the way to Montreal. Too bad.
Far more of these neighborhoods were wiped out in the 50s and 60s "Urban Renewal" programs that sought to get rid of all slums in the US. Then Johnson's "Great Society" wiped out entire families and substituted Big Gov for the nuclear family.
The author wrote "the lack of material wealth was compensated by a sense of belonging." American neighborhoods, from the poorest to the middle class, always had this in common. It was one of the things that truly made America great. Unfortunately, Democrats (with a lot of Republican support) wiped all that out all over America.
You get into cause and effect here. They identify the highway as the only cause of the one-thriving, or at least self-sufficient, black community there dying. But all black communities died over the country, all at the same time, many without having highways anywhere near them, like Harlem.
The culprit - if you ask Thomas Sowell, it was CIVIL RIGHTS - that enabled the better off blacks to flee and it was game over for the inner cities, just the trash left.
So tear down all they want, until they force educated, better-off blacks, into these communities, NOTHING WILL CHANGE - that simple.
People aren’t trash just because they’re poor. Even if they lack ambition or for some other reason are unable to raise themselves up. There’s no moral imperative that everyone go to college and get rich. One thing you learn quickly about the poor is that their lives are chaotic and everyone’s story is different and complex. Even when this is the result of life choices (not talking about crime here) driven by culture and environment, being poor shouldn’t be a crime. It’s shameful to despise people for it.
And, according to Sowell, it was the self-interested lighter-skinned Blacks who fled, leaving the darker-skinned folks to languish in their ghettos.
You read things funny. I suspect most people understand that the better off people in a community tend to want to keep the community safe and pleasant to live - the drug dealers, not so much. So if you lose the better off people, who’s left to run the places - the grannies there, who almost to a person a fine people, are not going to stand a chance against the druggies - they certainly are victims. It’s over at that point, and that is just what we’re seeing.
We are all equal, and we all have dignity before Jesus Christ.
I don’t remember the skin tone being mentioned, but that wouldn’t surprise me. As it was, the people who were both credible and capable of running those areas immediately fled, and all that were left to take their places were druggies and Al Sharptons.
Nor should being lazy, parasitical and self-destructive.
But, the second-mentioned group has zer0 right to blame their plight on others.
And, it should be a crime for them to label others as "racists" -- because of the outcomes of their own, self-chosen malefactor lifestyles.
Same story with the Bronx and the highways that cut it up.
“We are all equal, and we all have dignity before Jesus Christ.”
True, and I should be more careful (you’ve warned me of that in the past). In this case, it is important to note that 90% of the people left behind in these neighborhoods are good, God Fearing, people, certainly no worse than most of us uppity white people (myself included). The problem they have, though, is that the people who can protect them, who have the same values, but also have the resources and education needed to fight politically, have left...and so they’re left to be victimized by who remains, which is what we’re seeing.
I had to stop reading. I managed to make it to about ¾ of the way through, but too much blame on the motor vehicle industry, transportation in general, and the creation of highways for the plight of the black American.
It just appears to me that everything is being labeled as at fault for “white flight” and black neighborhoods suffering financially to this day. A lot of people sucked at the time, sure. However, they didn’t want to live in their equivalent of modern-day Chicago or Baltimore anymore than I do now.
You want to fix financial woes? Bring jobs to your area. Don’t blame the highway, because you’re going to need it for business to come in and goods to leave.
I can read fine. If you’re black and not better-off, you’re trash. Your words.
That’s right. Being lazy should not be a crime. It’s still a free country, sort of.
Offensive speech should be a crime? Wow.
It was done sixty years ago. If you have not adjusted in that time you never will.
Most of the people who were affected are now dead.
BTW, there are only a few meat markets and bowling ally left in the country. If a large city has more then one it is unusual. Such things are gone and they are not coming back.
“I can read fine. If youre black and not better-off, youre trash. Your words.”
I cannot help it if you’re a snowflake. Just feel sorry for those around you.
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