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Old 07-16-2007, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,607 posts, read 57,896,760 times
Reputation: 25621

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Gosh, if only it were as easy as the city waving its magic wand and making the necessary changes to fix the problem. But complex problems never have simple solutions, especially when the political process is the primary instrument of change. A cursory glance at the report you posted confirms what many of us have known for decades: the CHA was a political football that got kicked around between numerous interests with competing agendas, making it very difficult to reach a consensus about how to solve its manifest problems, or to even reach a consensus about what the problems were. The solution you see today -- tear down the high-rises and replace them with low-density mixed housing -- became politically feasible only after the previous model became so indefensible that HUD simply refused to continue funding it. And this solution has not come without its share of political acrimony that continues to this day. Nor has it come without creating new problems previously discussed in this thread, such as where did the criminals that used to be concentrated in the projects go to, and will they destabilize the erstwhile stable-but-marginal neighborhoods and suburbs they have moved into, and will those suburbs in particular have the police resources to deal with the influx of criminals?

And what about the non-criminals -- the "good people" you are happy for, even as they articulate their outrage and frustration with the situation -- who are being displaced and moved into neighborhoods they are totally unfamiliar with, removed from the social & community networks and resources they relied on for decades to make it through each day? Will the new neighborhoods be able to accommodate them and provide the resources necessary to address their needs? A quick glance at some downstate communities that have received a conspicuous influx of the poor leads one to answer, "not necessarily." So then what? Where do these small cities and towns come up with the resources to deal with new social issues they have no experience or expertise in dealing with? What about those who move into areas where their presence is not so conspicuous? Will anyone but their next-door neighbors even know or care that they've arrived?

And the success of the new model is far from guaranteed. Once the developers get their money from the city for low-income units and from private buyers for market-rate units, they're outta there and they don't care any more. Meanwhile, there is still a high degree of criminal activity in the old Cabrini Green neighborhood for instance, scaring away many would-be stabilizing residents from the only-partially-transformed neighborhood. I realize anecdotal evidence only goes so far, but I personally know of several people who bought expensive townhomes in the area only to find out that the "can't we all just get along" credo is still something of a fantasy.

It turns out that, no, we can't all just get along, at least not yet. There are still very real class distinctions in our society and particularly in this city that happen to correlate rather tightly with race. Throwing these disparate classes together in very close quarters when they previously had minimal contact with each other is a massive and daring social experiment with an uncertain outcome. The last time we tried to force the issue with school busing, the net result was massive white flight to the suburbs, leading to more class and racial segregation than ever and creating social wounds that are still wide-open nearly 50 years later. At least this time the experiment is voluntary, but massive investment doesn't guarantee that it will work. See those huge swaths of 'hood through much of the South and West sides of Chicago? They once represented countless billions of equity invested by prior generations who stood by practically helpless as social forces beyond their control destroyed that investment.

It takes a particular kind of idealism to volunteer for this newest experiment, and I can tell you this much based on personal contact with many people living in the Cabrini Green area: when the two collide head-on, idealism is no match for reality. Some are more resilient than others; some are more willing to wait it out to try to maximize the return on their emotional and/or financial investment. But many have thrown up their hands in frustration and fled for safer environs.

While I firmly believe the mixed-income model is a better approach than the previous model of isolating the poor in densely concentrated pockets away from "functional" society, the success of this approach is far from certain. Let's do a progress report 10 years from now, and maybe we'll have a better idea of the success of the mixed-income model is truly "guaranteed." In the meantime, I'm not betting one way or the other.

Last edited by Drover; 07-16-2007 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Chicago, Tri-Taylor
2,184 posts, read 4,208,600 times
Reputation: 1163
Outstanding post Drover. You hit several facets of this issue right on the head. While there's no doubt that the former Cabrini area is becoming "posh," I'm not ready to pat Daley on the back just yet. I consider his constituents to be Chicagoans as a whole, not just the stylish upper middle professionals who patronize Japonais and the Motel Bar. I also do not consider it fair for his administration to dump the problem off on marginal suburbs and downstate communities -- at least without tendering them some compensation and/or law enforcement assistance.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:26 PM
 
16 posts, read 96,005 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRU67 View Post
Where I do, however, have a problem is the complete lack of thought about where the former CHA residents were supposed to go. They certainly didn't disappear, nor did any substantial number of them end up in the new developments. They've gone to crime ridden south and west side neighborhoods where they're battling other gangs for control and further adding to already miserable situations. They're also appearing in suburbs with police forces simply not equipped to deal with them -- usually small south suburbs with low wage part-time police officers. They're chasing the good residents out of those communities and, over time, I think they'll end up simply recreating the housing projects in a different setting. So my sense is that we're not correcting the problem at all, we're just moving it and probably making the overall situation worse.
Actually, people from those developments made the south suburbs the crime ridden area you are referring to! I moved to Dolton (a south suburb that lots of you are referring to) when I was 1 year old in 1981. The suburb was great, and I had several generations of family from there. Then something strange happened extremely suddenly at the end of the 1980s... The city experienced one of the fastest racial changes in Illinois history. Crime grew - the police forbid kids to go into the park across the street from me because of daily shootings. In schools gangs suddenly became a huge problem. I didn't really notice the swift change in race because Dolton was already pretty diverse I was young and I thought it was normal, it was just that almost all the non-black people started moved out and I was almost the only white kid left. Suddenly there were rules about how you could advertise selling your house. Ended up our mayor of Dolton made a deal with Mayor Daley and they were closing down some of the Chicago projects and bussing people to Dolton and setting them up down there to give them a 'better life'. What happened was this move for them killed my great city and drove pretty much all of the locals out and now I don't even want to drive through there. Better life? Maybe, but it made the overall town worse. I truly had hopes for them, thinking if you give people from the projects a good neighborhood that they would thrive. I'm sure some do, but in this situation it wasn't true at all.

The house value in Dolton plummeted (my grandma sold her tri-level 5 br, 5ba, double lot house for $250,000 after being on the market for a year.) and hasn't made a come-back, and that all happened around 1990. I wish it wasn't true what happened, but it happened. And I moved 90 miles south to the country, where my parents thought we would be safe from this happening again!
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:07 AM
 
3 posts, read 12,767 times
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Default Peek inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeisgoodnVA View Post
I too became fascinated about Chicago housing projects and Cabrini-Green.As an educator of lower middle-class to lower class students during research I happened to stumble upon the info on Wikipedia on Cabrini-Green. I also saw the ridiculous video mentioned here that was on Youtube. But honestly that video purposely showed the most hard-core, violent people they could find. The people in this video "claimed" their projects like they owned them, but the city proved in the end who was the real owner as they bulldozed the whole project! After seeing the thugged out cabrini-green gang video I was speechless. I never ever met any African-Americans like these people in my life. EVER. I'm sure most were drugged and drunk on the video. It was sad to read the racist remarks that followed the video where other races took this video to represent all blacks and their living style.

But after further research on the web, it was nice to find there were some good hearted people who lived in these housing projects as well (see YouTube user soulsurvivor's housing project videos) People who even had children who ended up going to college. I don't dispute that the place was a hell whole as described in wikipedia. Just keep in mind that all major news sources daily focus on the bad news versus human interest stories or positive stories.

A few people here are talking about how the drug dealers and criminals will infiltrate the new neighborhoods. I'm sure they will try their best attempts to do that. One thing that will make it hard for those folks is that CHA is only offering housing for the current lease-compliant tenants which is a VERY difficult set of hoops to jump through. (Good credit reports, clean criminal records, paying bills on time and they will be subject to home inspections) See CHA's website for the detailed list.

If the police are called and people from your house are involved, everyone is risking getting kicked out and with the new housing shortage, they can call the next family on the housing list and give them a try. The mixed income community has a lot of investors, they are not going to let the neighborhood go down.

In my research, I read there were a lot of illegal tenants in Cabrini living in vacant apartments. There is no priority to put them anywhere. They will become homeless. And the few who have been overlooked have ended up having to live in rival gang territory which has led to their deaths.

I am happy for the good people who were functional in the worst of projects. They deserve a better place to live with working elevators, good smells, lights that work, safety, clean common areas, and friendly neighbors. It's a miracle they kept their sanity in those conditions as long as they did. I hope they receive the best of housing and hopefully one day a home of their own.

I wonder how many people ended up in prison and liked it because the conditions were better than home back at the projects? Did they see half of their neighborhood cliques in jail? Were prisoners let off sooner because of overcrowding and the city knew these thugs would return back to the lawless projects and they did not care because they would not have to deal with them?

It is inexcusable that CHA neglected these projects for so long and that innocent people lost young children who were thrown off the balconies or were shot and killed on the playground. If the media knew about gang wars and drug mafia, the city knew too but didn't care. The innocent victims of violence should have sued CHA, the city of Chicago, and the police department since they were not providing appropriate care and security for the facility. I hope that the elderly housing projects were kept better than those were!

A red flag that the CHA was not managing the projects well was the fact they had people living in vacant apartments. They obviously did not enforce evictions that well on people. I would be upset if I was paying partial rent and people were illegally living in the building for free.

On one of the videos on YouTube that was from PBS, a Professor Gates went to several Chicago projects to research their lives. He found people who chose to work instead of sell drugs.

But I wonder if people who worked had to work early hours so they could be safe coming home because of the late night gang activities. Did a girl have to have an escort walking in the building at all times because of the dark hallways and gang infested buildings? Did ambulances even come to Cabrini-Green? How far did these people have to go to grocery shop or go shopping?

Can you imagine fearing your safety every time you left and arrived at your home?

It's sad to see ministers soliciting a ton of money for Africa (True, they need it.) but there are people in Chicago, New York, New Orleans, and most American cities who need food, shelter, and training. Our stupid government is selling our jobs overseas daily. Where are American blue-collar folks going to work three years from now? Sadly a lot of these welfare people are starting to wake up just because their buildings have been torn down! They are not even in the work force YET! (which more opportunities are about to disappear!)

The people who are not lease-compliant who do not have a place to stay, I really don't feel too sorry for them. Sometimes your bridges are burned and you have to suffer the consequences.

Middle-class people who mess up majorly in their lives don't have a safety net from the government to remain middle class. If they mess up their credit or get a criminal record or don't pay their rent, they may lose their social status overnight and wake up being poor. It is a reality that they deal with. It is a hidden rule of being middle-class.

I hope that some people use the misfortune of losing Cabrini-Green to be a catalyst to become self-sufficient and not depend on the government to care for them, even with the promise of better living conditions. It won't happen overnight but maybe some people will beat the odds.

Cabrini-Green like Robert Taylor was develope because of political/social/economical convience. Many people aren't aware of the last large migration of Blacks from the South, starting in the late 50's and peaking in the mid 60's. Robert Taylor was siuated in the designated Black Belt of the city of Chicago south side. The influx of Blacks into the city cause the population to out grow that south side area. Blacks had start to move on the near westside, Roosevelt and Halsted area. But the building of Illinois Circle Campus was sucessful in displacing tenants Blacks and whites alike.
Properties in that area was set aside for that project starting about 1962-63/the campus open up about 1965
Blacks were introduced into The Cabrini Green Row Houses in the very early 1950's, when the Italian community start moving out of their own "Hell's Kitchen" As more Blacks moved in, more Whites moved out. In the early 50's the building of the Cabrini extensions started and was completed with families moving in around 1957-58. At the time the city of Chicago was being attacked by social/political groups for their usage of "Willis Wagons" portable school (trailers). There use were to make sure that Black Children remain in schools within their segregated area. BUT CABRINI would be the city show piece of how things were to become for the ever growing Black Communities. Cabrini in the late 50's and early 60's boasted numerous schools, that were able to maintain the majority of Black school age population within its boundaries. (Public Schools) The Edward Jenner school and extension, Bryd School, Franklin school, Schiller School, Sojouner Truth, and St. Joseph's (Catholic) all grammer school were virtually surrounded by Cabrini. (PUBLIC) Cooley High school, Waller H.S and Well H.S served most of the community needs. Some of the residence did attend alternative such as (Catholic) St. Micheal's High School, Trinity H.S, Holy Family H.S and Cathedral H.S. The only school closing in the late 50's and early 60's were St. Philips Grammer School and St, Dominick H.S. Wm. Green Homes were added to the Cabrini and Cabrini Extension, forming the now infamous Cabrini Green Projects. The early years of Cabrin Green, late 50's early 60's
had residence with higher employment rates, less crimes, very little if any drop outs from school. But in Chicago in the late 50's and early 60's manufactoring jobs and unskilled labor jobs were plentiful. Chicago still had the stock yards, steel mills, General Electric and other giants of productions
Actually if you didn't work in this era, is BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T want to.
The greater number of people who moved into Cabrini Green were the remnants of cold water flats from the south and west side of Chicago, transists from the Delta of Mississippi, Bayou's of Louisiana, enclaves of Georgia, small towns Alabama. These were men and women, leaving from the fields of a faltering endless exsistences of sharecropping and the ever presence of "JimCrow". It was a chance that alot of American don't get even today, a new start, a brand new begining...There was never a time that Blacks had been introduced to vertical living at this scale, it actually became an adventure. An adventure that blinded them from the truth, yes, public housing did answer for the most part the question of housing for low income families, Yet, the ulterior motives were more sinister. The warehousing of people to create segregate communities was purposely done. The Pols had a virtually captive audience, at which time over 90% of the voting age adults voted and voted one party, mirror reflection of Blacks living in the world's largest public housing complex "Robert Taylor Homes". A political bloc that paid off quite handsomely for JFK's elections and propelling The Chicago Democratic Party into the ionosphere of power brokering. Cabrini Green for the most part was like so many other communities in this country, people worked, people died, and people moved on. There were rules for the tenants within the projects and they were strictly enforced. There weren't people throwing garbage out of the window, people were NOT urinating in the hallways and elevators, you could get fined for walking on the grass, there were 2 apartment inspection a year, residents gladly and proudly kept their living area up inclusive of mopping the ramps and elevators. There were no metal meshes from floor to ceiling on the ramps, there were openable window in the hallways, laundry rooms and public bathrooms iin the basements. then there was a screening process before you could move in, and if you didn't make it....YOU DIDN'T MOVE IN!!!!!!!!!. The ACLU put a stop to that nonsense, public housing is open NOW to any nut that can walk and chew gum, not necessarily at the same time. Then came the riots of 1968 and the displacement of hundred of burned out residents from throughout the city. Now, what happens defies logic...there were families being relocated from those burned out, destroyed area, into Cabrini Green. There were families from the West Side of Chicago moving in, with established ties to the Vice Lords, then you had families moving in from the South Side of Chicago, with established ties to The BlackStone Rangers and Disciple's Street Gang. Immediately each group start carving out its own little niche in the area for
recognition and control. The residents who were already there had few choices, some were absorbed by the incoming groups, some created their own like group "The Black Family Deuces" off of Larrabee Street. Then like anywhere else you had your group who attempted to avoid all of these gangs. Mean while the world was moving on in great strides, The war in Vietnam, The Civil Rights Movements, Kent State, Selma Al., hippies, yippies
turn on and tune out, free love, love beads and enlightenment!!!!
Now, you might say what has this to do with Cabrini Green? Well like any other community, when there is social and political upheval, there is an reaction or reactions. The ghetto turned on, speed, marijuana, heroin and cocaine, like leaving a kid in Toys r Us. The Steel mills start closing, the stock yards, and other giants of employments start pulling up and doing what so many of the reidents were doing, relocating outside of the city, some outside of the state or country. The gangs, no longer could survive on local extortion for money, not enough money for gangs with members exceeding 2 and 3 hundreds. Robberies, burglaries and theft could only fill the void for excitement value only. The truth is that, Blacks could have stolen "The Hope Diamond", A Picasso, or any other thing of value and the problem would be the same.....Who is going to buy a stolen Picasso from someone Black? The Black guy would do better stealing the stand that the Picasso was displayed on. So, the game becomes DOPE.... from a nickel bag to a pound, from a gram of heroin to a kilo. The money is fast, very fast, so is the competition
matter of fact the competition becomes deadly. The more you sell, the more you need to sell. Now, a perfect place to distribute this product, is the projects. There is a built in customer bases, the place is builted like a fortress and you have an almost endless supply of those who are willinging to help for a piece of the pie. The ACLU has open the door to anyone that wants to move in, now emancipated females of the ages of 18 are getting there own apartments. The building in Cabrini Green that were once the homes to those people who were seeking opportunities and a better life, are now the bastions of the anti social, the criminals. The basic upkeep of apartments, elevators, hallways have fallen behind, to the needs of meer exsistence. There are no longer families who eat together, there are BurgerKings, McDonalds. There is no longer the giggling, and laughters of playing children, but the loud reports of gun fire, day time or night time, it doesn't make a difference anymore. It those with something, against those who want something. The family core disappeared, common sense disappeared, there's no use of getting educated, you'll starve to death before you graduate, that if you lucky not to be shot in a drive by first. Get what you can, and all that you can.. NOW. It doesn't make any difference how, just do it. If you OD, you're dead, if you try to live here you're dead, where ever you go, you are you and you're dead. A bright shining star for a moment, is better then an eon of flickering. The dreams, the nightmares have run it course, the building are or have entirely been torn down, the people have been scattered into the winds and already Cabrini-Green is a foot note for the curious. It was just another rise and fall
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,249 posts, read 11,825,052 times
Reputation: 3587
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
All I know is the Evans family lived in Cabrini Green, so it must have been a nice place since it was all about "Good Times" and everything was "Dy-no-MITE!"
ALL the Chicago projects were BAD but Cabrini was probably no worse than Robert Taylor Homes or Stateway Gardens. All crapholes and good riddances. If you were white, you could go in there and work. The telephone man, the elevator man and the craft folks that worked in them were mostly white. Nobody bothers them. Most of the killing and maiming is done by the residents to each other.
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:11 AM
 
2,141 posts, read 5,408,027 times
Reputation: 1154
There are far worse projects in Chicago. Cabrini Green is nearly gone and it's surrounded by gentrified housing now.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:30 AM
 
10,690 posts, read 18,275,296 times
Reputation: 3591
Good riddance to Cabrini! Regardless of the city's motivations, there was no good reason for the continued existence of these buildings. They took a terrible toll on all residents, but they were particularly difficult on children. There was NO reason for taxpayers to continue funding this disaster.

My wife used to tutor students in Cabrini back in the 1990s, and it was very sad to watch otherwise intelligent children fall prey to the environment of Cabrini. She would keep repeating to her high-school students, "Don't get pregnant!", and would help them fill out job applications. Many of the high school students didn't even feel worthy of a job at the Blockbuster Video that opened by the Dominicks... It was truly sad. But some of the families were so grateful for the help of a stranger they would invite my wife over for dinner in their apartments (and she would go, even though it was a pretty scary place at that time). Now the area is losing its stigma, and the mixed-income development in Cabrini's place is a much healthier environment. Will kids still fall by the wayside? Yes. But the government can't do everything for everyone.
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:41 PM
 
358 posts, read 1,424,574 times
Reputation: 163
Hope the mixed incomes go well. I think the key will be regulations - how strict the screening is to get approved for a place there, and how easy/hard it is to get evicted. If they make it strict, and thus reward good hard working poor families, it could go well. But really, anything would be better than sniper fire from the rooftops.
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:07 PM
 
537 posts, read 1,229,590 times
Reputation: 388
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbricks View Post
Cabrini-Green like Robert Taylor was develope because of political/social/economical convience. Many people aren't aware of the last large migration of Blacks from the South, starting in the late 50's and peaking in the mid 60's. Robert Taylor was siuated in the designated Black Belt of the city of Chicago south side. The influx of Blacks into the city cause the population to out grow that south side area. Blacks had start to move on the near westside, Roosevelt and Halsted area. But the building of Illinois Circle Campus was sucessful in displacing tenants Blacks and whites alike.
Properties in that area was set aside for that project starting about 1962-63/the campus open up about 1965
Blacks were introduced into The Cabrini Green Row Houses in the very early 1950's, when the Italian community start moving out of their own "Hell's Kitchen" As more Blacks moved in, more Whites moved out. In the early 50's the building of the Cabrini extensions started and was completed with families moving in around 1957-58. At the time the city of Chicago was being attacked by social/political groups for their usage of "Willis Wagons" portable school (trailers). There use were to make sure that Black Children remain in schools within their segregated area. BUT CABRINI would be the city show piece of how things were to become for the ever growing Black Communities. Cabrini in the late 50's and early 60's boasted numerous schools, that were able to maintain the majority of Black school age population within its boundaries. (Public Schools) The Edward Jenner school and extension, Bryd School, Franklin school, Schiller School, Sojouner Truth, and St. Joseph's (Catholic) all grammer school were virtually surrounded by Cabrini. (PUBLIC) Cooley High school, Waller H.S and Well H.S served most of the community needs. Some of the residence did attend alternative such as (Catholic) St. Micheal's High School, Trinity H.S, Holy Family H.S and Cathedral H.S. The only school closing in the late 50's and early 60's were St. Philips Grammer School and St, Dominick H.S. Wm. Green Homes were added to the Cabrini and Cabrini Extension, forming the now infamous Cabrini Green Projects. The early years of Cabrin Green, late 50's early 60's
had residence with higher employment rates, less crimes, very little if any drop outs from school. But in Chicago in the late 50's and early 60's manufactoring jobs and unskilled labor jobs were plentiful. Chicago still had the stock yards, steel mills, General Electric and other giants of productions
Actually if you didn't work in this era, is BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T want to.
The greater number of people who moved into Cabrini Green were the remnants of cold water flats from the south and west side of Chicago, transists from the Delta of Mississippi, Bayou's of Louisiana, enclaves of Georgia, small towns Alabama. These were men and women, leaving from the fields of a faltering endless exsistences of sharecropping and the ever presence of "JimCrow". It was a chance that alot of American don't get even today, a new start, a brand new begining...There was never a time that Blacks had been introduced to vertical living at this scale, it actually became an adventure. An adventure that blinded them from the truth, yes, public housing did answer for the most part the question of housing for low income families, Yet, the ulterior motives were more sinister. The warehousing of people to create segregate communities was purposely done. The Pols had a virtually captive audience, at which time over 90% of the voting age adults voted and voted one party, mirror reflection of Blacks living in the world's largest public housing complex "Robert Taylor Homes". A political bloc that paid off quite handsomely for JFK's elections and propelling The Chicago Democratic Party into the ionosphere of power brokering. Cabrini Green for the most part was like so many other communities in this country, people worked, people died, and people moved on. There were rules for the tenants within the projects and they were strictly enforced. There weren't people throwing garbage out of the window, people were NOT urinating in the hallways and elevators, you could get fined for walking on the grass, there were 2 apartment inspection a year, residents gladly and proudly kept their living area up inclusive of mopping the ramps and elevators. There were no metal meshes from floor to ceiling on the ramps, there were openable window in the hallways, laundry rooms and public bathrooms iin the basements. then there was a screening process before you could move in, and if you didn't make it....YOU DIDN'T MOVE IN!!!!!!!!!. The ACLU put a stop to that nonsense, public housing is open NOW to any nut that can walk and chew gum, not necessarily at the same time. Then came the riots of 1968 and the displacement of hundred of burned out residents from throughout the city. Now, what happens defies logic...there were families being relocated from those burned out, destroyed area, into Cabrini Green. There were families from the West Side of Chicago moving in, with established ties to the Vice Lords, then you had families moving in from the South Side of Chicago, with established ties to The BlackStone Rangers and Disciple's Street Gang. Immediately each group start carving out its own little niche in the area for
recognition and control. The residents who were already there had few choices, some were absorbed by the incoming groups, some created their own like group "The Black Family Deuces" off of Larrabee Street. Then like anywhere else you had your group who attempted to avoid all of these gangs. Mean while the world was moving on in great strides, The war in Vietnam, The Civil Rights Movements, Kent State, Selma Al., hippies, yippies
turn on and tune out, free love, love beads and enlightenment!!!!
Now, you might say what has this to do with Cabrini Green? Well like any other community, when there is social and political upheval, there is an reaction or reactions. The ghetto turned on, speed, marijuana, heroin and cocaine, like leaving a kid in Toys r Us. The Steel mills start closing, the stock yards, and other giants of employments start pulling up and doing what so many of the reidents were doing, relocating outside of the city, some outside of the state or country. The gangs, no longer could survive on local extortion for money, not enough money for gangs with members exceeding 2 and 3 hundreds. Robberies, burglaries and theft could only fill the void for excitement value only. The truth is that, Blacks could have stolen "The Hope Diamond", A Picasso, or any other thing of value and the problem would be the same.....Who is going to buy a stolen Picasso from someone Black? The Black guy would do better stealing the stand that the Picasso was displayed on. So, the game becomes DOPE.... from a nickel bag to a pound, from a gram of heroin to a kilo. The money is fast, very fast, so is the competition
matter of fact the competition becomes deadly. The more you sell, the more you need to sell. Now, a perfect place to distribute this product, is the projects. There is a built in customer bases, the place is builted like a fortress and you have an almost endless supply of those who are willinging to help for a piece of the pie. The ACLU has open the door to anyone that wants to move in, now emancipated females of the ages of 18 are getting there own apartments. The building in Cabrini Green that were once the homes to those people who were seeking opportunities and a better life, are now the bastions of the anti social, the criminals. The basic upkeep of apartments, elevators, hallways have fallen behind, to the needs of meer exsistence. There are no longer families who eat together, there are BurgerKings, McDonalds. There is no longer the giggling, and laughters of playing children, but the loud reports of gun fire, day time or night time, it doesn't make a difference anymore. It those with something, against those who want something. The family core disappeared, common sense disappeared, there's no use of getting educated, you'll starve to death before you graduate, that if you lucky not to be shot in a drive by first. Get what you can, and all that you can.. NOW. It doesn't make any difference how, just do it. If you OD, you're dead, if you try to live here you're dead, where ever you go, you are you and you're dead. A bright shining star for a moment, is better then an eon of flickering. The dreams, the nightmares have run it course, the building are or have entirely been torn down, the people have been scattered into the winds and already Cabrini-Green is a foot note for the curious. It was just another rise and fall



Yep, this is exactly what Tupac meant when he said "our history is so full of tragedy and misery."


The very first time I went to Chicago (long before I moved here) I couldn't help but look at the projects on the South Side (RT because they were still up at the time) and think about how my people (African Americans), who were from my state (Alabama) came up here to chase a dream, only to see that all that glitters isn't necessarily gold, and it's sad how quickly the dream turned into a nightmare, a hell on earth. Sadly, it seems that in life we're always chasing a dream, some place far down the yellow brick road called "happiness". Only problem is we never realize that happiness and joy in life is a way of traveling, and not a destination to arrive at. If you're searching for a time and a place in your life, sometime in the future, where you will be perfectly content, without any problems or worries, then you will be searching for a very long time because life is never perfect, but that doesn't mean that you can't be happy. It's all about attitude and not circumstances, and my people had to learn that the hard way.



And so with that being said, Chicago will never change for the better unless the people change. You can kick the poor people out, you can reshuffle them to the south suburbs (places like Dolton, Chicago Heights, Calumet City, etc) until you're blue in the face - the problems that were there before will still be there. There has to be an attitude change. People here have asked, so why is the city tearing down public housing? Look, HUD (that's Washington, not City Hall downtown) has decided that it wants to free itself of the responsibility (or should I say the burden?) of public housing altogether. Public housing is being phased out now, as we speak. I'm sure this is a process that will take years, if not decades, but the ball has begun to roll and things will change. Period. For those who are being displaced, I sympathize with them but at the same time, I will say this - the world is changing. Period. Just like they got rid of welfare (or actually they made some serious modifications but didn't completely get rid of it) a few years ago, they will do the same with public housing. You are going to have to become self-sufficient, folks. Not saying that there won't be a safety net for those who fall by the wayside, just saying that you're going to have to learn to get right back up just as quickly as you got knocked on your behind, because the world is changing. Period. You can either change with it and roll with the punches, or be gone with the wind. If you choose to submit to your own demise, then you will be missed but you will not be dwelled upon. Life will go on, and people will go on. So you might as well get in where you fit in, get with the program, and come on. This is life. Period. Chicago's going to have to make some changes, and so is the United States as a whole. Public housing and its demise is not just taking place in Chicago, it's happening nationwide. I'm here in my hometown of Birmingham and I was surprised to see our own notoriously bad projects, our own version of Cabrini Green, demolished with nothing but an urban prairie in its place. There's a single church standing in the site of where the projects used to be. Sad, but at the same time, refereshing. Those projects were nothing more than a concentration of blight in an already blighted community, and I was glad to see that they were gone.



Bottom line - the world is changing. America is changing, whether you're ready or not.


_
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,249 posts, read 11,825,052 times
Reputation: 3587
Chicago is and always has been a very segregated city but it offered far more economic opportunity for the Negro in the south many decades ago. A Negro could arrive in Chicago and be working at a good job within a day or two- a much better job than the rural racist south could or would ever offer him. But he was forced to live within the confines of the "coloured" part of Chicago no matter how much he made or how many whites he worked along side with at the steel plants and hog plants. On the other hand, in the south, blacks generally lived in close proximity to poorer whites. While schools were separate, residences often were not. After the civil rights movement opened up jobs in the south for the black people, they quit coming to Chicago and they are now moving back in droves to the south for the great opportunities that are here (I live in GA but used to live in Chicago). It used to be in the south that the blacks were told "we don't care how close you get, just don't get too high" and in Chicago "we don't care how high you go, just don't get too close". The projects were built to keep the blacks segregated in Chicago.
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