One day last summer, I took my Washington University students to see an abandoned brick duplex on Wells Avenue on St. Louis’s near-north side. Built in 1907, the two-story building looked like a bomb had exploded inside. Its walls were crumbling. Daylight streamed through a caved-in section of the roof. Not a shard of glass remained in the rotting window frames. A large piece of plywood covered the front doorway, announcing the address – 5117 – in red spray paint.
“What do you think happened here?” I asked my students… full article here
More than 5,600 people shared this article on Facebook, including mayoral candidate Tishaura Jones. It came out in the St. Louis American on February 27, just a few weeks before the 2017 mayoral primaries.
Jones had recently garnered national attention when she declined an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, saying:
What is killing our region is a systemic racism that pervades almost every public and private institution, including your newspaper, and makes it nearly impossible for either North St. Louis or the parts of South St. Louis where African Americans live to get better or safer or healthier or better-educated.Tishaura O. Jones
LaVar Burton and Howard Dean applauded her remarks on social media, endorsements poured in, and this article about our newly famous candidate appeared in The Nation Magazine.
Thanks to Chris King for publishing the piece. Inter-generational economic inequalities are hard to see and I wanted to make them a little more visible.
History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history. James Baldwin