“We were one of the original five black families on the block,” says Handy, who still lives in the family home. In those days, Handy says, “block clubs only did parties,” because “the neighborhood had young families with kids.” Today, most of the residents are older, and most of the children have grown and moved away. “One of the challenges when [the Ridgeland Block Club Association] started was finding a reason to exist,” Handy says, “we are trying to be more relevant in our focus for our residents.”
$1 lots from Englewood to Pullman
On February 19, President Obama—with Mayor Emanuel at his side—announced the designation of Pullman as a National Monument to a crowd of cheering supporters at Gwendolyn Brooks Preparatory Academy. For the Emanuel campaign, the announcement was a valuable pre-election coup: “Rahm hasn’t just fought for a national park in Pullman. He’s fought for new opportunity and new jobs in Pullman and for every Chicagoan in every neighborhood,” said Obama. For residents of Pullman, who have been working to have the area recognized by the National Parks Service, the moment was the culmination of a five-decade grassroots movement to preserve the neighborhood’s rich historical and architectural value.
In 1995, Henry Cisneros, secretary of Housing and Urban Development for the Clinton administration, called Bronzeville’s Robert Taylor Homes “without question, the worst public housing in America today.” Though the homes are gone, their legacy remains a sore spot in the history of Chicago’s public housing. Continue reading