Here’s a new meme: I Saw Sunday
So, what did you see this week?
One thing or a whole list! – Words or photos or both!
Share it here with us.
1. Write your post on your blog and include a link back to I Saw Sunday.
2. Leave the link to your post in the Mr Linky widget so we can find you.
3. Leave a comment after linking so that I know you have been here.
4. Please be sure to visit the other participants and share what they saw.
Today I’m writing about not so much something I saw, but about something I heard and saw, a great conversation I participated in. On Monday my mother hosted a small gathering, drinks and appetizers on our patio for the neighbors. This is a weekly ritual down the way from us, but the usual hosts were out of town. So mom filled in and invited a couple other neighbors, the Martins joined the usual cast of the Wards and Kellys.
We live in a suburban neighborhood that doesn’t have a lot of diversity. Our neighborhood is a bit exceptional because I think we have three African American households. Most blocks don’t have any.
We came upon an interesting topic of crime in Chicago now and the earlier white flight, when many white residents of my father’s generation moved from the south part of Chicago to the suburbs. Both my father and Mrs. Ward grew up on the Southside of Chicago. Mr. Martin couldn’t understand given the proximity to the lake and downtown and the lovely architecture why anyone would leave that part of Chicago. Certainly, fear fueled by prejudice was a factor, but there were others. In that part of the city there were a lot of renters, a greater proportion than up north. So leaving was easy. Also, Marshall Fields made an offer in the mid-50s when they opened their Park Forest store. Anyone who qualified, could get $1000 credit, which was a lot in those days, and quite enticing. So a lot of people moved to the south suburbs.
Then we touched upon the rising violence in the South part of Chicago now. Mr. Martin holds that a big factor in the violence is the resettlement of people after tearing down the old Cabrini Green housing projects. He believes that, while that project was too violent and in many ways a failure, there wasn’t sufficient thought given to the social impact on moving those residents into other parts of the city. I think he’s on to something.
I was fascinated to hear about Mrs. Ward’s neighborhood where she grew up. She lived adjacent to Swedes, Russian Jews, Japanese family who’d been interned during WWII, Greeks and Turkish people who’d been victims of Greek military action. It’s only recently in some parts of the country that we’ve had to teach people about diversity. (Of course, in the past, it wasn’t as if everyone got along. Far from it.)
I just live for engaging discourse.
“Slow down and take the time to really see. Take a moment to see what is going on around you right now, right where you are. You may be missing something wonderful.”
- J. Michael Thomas