chicago-neighborhood

On This Day: July 25
  • 1792: French Revolution: The Brunswick Manifesto is issued to Paris population promising vengeance if the Royal Family harmed.
  • 1846: Henry David Thoreau refuses to pay the local tax collector and spends a night in jail, a formative experience.
  • 1877: Battle of the Viaduct: In the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, federal troops shot on protesting members of the Chicago German Furniture Workers Union, now Local 1784 of the Carpenters Union, killing 30 workers and wounded over 100.
  • 1890: After striking for seven months, New York garment workers win right to unionise.
  • 1902: Danbury Hatters. members of the United Hatters of North America, go on strike at D.E. Loewe and Company.
  • 1904: 25,000 textile workers go on strike in Massachusetts.
  • 1909: “Tragic Week”, a series of bloody clashes between the Spanish army and the working classes of Catalonian cities, begins.
  • 1942: Norwegian Manifesto calls for nonviolent resistance to the Nazis.
  • 1973: Hu Jia born in Beijing. He is an activist & dissident whose work has focused on democracy, environmentalist movement, and HIV/AIDS.
  • 1977: Ahmad Batebi born in Shiraz, Iran. He was arrested and tortured after part of July ‘99 protests. He is designated a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
  • 2010: WikiLeaks publishes classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in US military history.
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The founding members of The Young Lords party grew up in the NYC projects as the children of working class, Puerto Rican migrants. They were known for their proactive social protest and community activities like burning garbage piles and taking over a church to run a free breakfast program.

The Young Lords began as a Puerto Rican turf gang in the Lincoln Park, Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park in the fall of 1960 and as a civil and human rights movement on Grito de Lares, September 23, 1968. During Mayor Daley’s tenure, Puerto Ricans in Lincoln Park and several Mexican communities were completely evicted from areas near the Loop, lakefront, Old Town, Lakeview and Lincoln Park, in order to increase property tax revenues. When they realized that urban renewal was evicting their families from their barrios and witnessed police abuses, some Puerto Ricans became involved in the June 1966 Division Street Riots in Wicker Park and Humboldt Park. They were officially reorganized from the gang into a civil and human rights movement by Jose Cha Cha Jimenez, who was the last president of the former gang and became the founder of the new Young Lords Movement

Latinos of all shades and hair texture came together, not phased by the petty discrimination rife within their community. The Young Lords grew into a national movement through the leadership of activists like Angela Lind Adorno who met with Vietnamese women, Omar López, David Rivera, Field Marshall, Dr. Tony Baez a leader in Bi-lingual, Bi-Cultural Education and Richie Pérez who established the Puerto Rican Student Union (PRSU) in a number of college campuses and high schools.

The Young Lords’ supported independence for Puerto Rico, all Latino nations and oppressed nations of the world and also neighborhood empowerment. This is clear by the original symbol with a map of Puerto Rico and a brown fist holding up a rifle and the purple lettering reading, “Tengo Puerto Rico en mi Corazon” (“I have Puerto Rico in my heart”). They saw themselves as a people’s struggle, a vanguard connected with the masses and it is why they began in Chicago fighting against the displacement of Puerto Ricans from Lincoln Park. While the national symbol and YLO (Young Lords Organization) appeared on buttons, the New York chapter began the local “Garbage Offensive”, which was an organizing vehicle and city-service concern. The Young Lords also addressed the local issues of police injustice, health care, tenants’ rights, free breakfast for children, free day care, and more accurate Latino education. The urban renewal campaign was framed by the Chicago office as the modern day land question, since Emiliano Zapata, who said, “all revolutions are based on land”

Young Lords Party

13-Point Program and Platform:

1. We want self-determination for Puerto Ricans–Liberation of the Island and inside the United States.

For 500 years, first spain and then united states have colonized our country. Billions of dollars in profits leave our country for the united states every year. In every way we are slaves of the gringo. We want liberation and the Power in the hands of the People, not Puerto Rican exploiters.

Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!

2. We want self-determination for all Latinos.

Our Latin Brothers and Sisters, inside and outside the united states, are oppressed by amerikkkan business. The Chicano people built the Southwest, and we support their right to control their lives and their land. The people of Santo Domingo continue to fight against gringo domination and its puppet generals. The armed liberation struggles in Latin America are part of the war of Latinos against imperialism.

Que Viva La Raza!

3. We want liberation of all third world people.

Just as Latins first slaved under spain and the yanquis, Black people, Indians, and Asians slaved to build the wealth of this country. For 400 years they have fought for freedom and dignity against racist Babylon (decadent empire). Third World people have led the fight for freedom. All the colored and oppressed peoples of the world are one nation under oppression.

No Puerto Rican Is Free Until All People Are Free!

4. We are revolutionary nationalists and oppose racism.

The Latin, Black, Indian and Asian people inside the u.s. are colonies fighting for liberation. We know that washington, wall street and city hall will try to make our nationalism into racism; but Puerto Ricans are of all colors and we resist racism. Millions of poor white people are rising up to demand freedom and we support them. These are the ones in the u.s. that are stepped on by the rules and the government. We each organize our people, but our fights are against the same oppression and we will defeat it together.

Power To All Oppressed People!

5. We want community control of our institutions and land.

We want control of our communities by our people and programs to guarantee that all institutions serve the needs of our people. People’s control of police, health services, churches, schools, housing, transportation and welfare are needed. We want an end to attacks on our land by urban removal, highway destruction, universities and corporations.

Land Belongs To All The People!

6. We want a true education of our Creole culture and Spanish language.

We must learn our history of fighting against cultural, as well as economic genocide by the yanqui. Revolutionary culture, culture of our people, is the only true teaching.

7. We oppose capitalists and alliances with traitors.

Puerto Rican rulers, or puppets of the oppressor, do not help our people. They are paid by the system to lead our people down blind alleys, just like the thousands of poverty pimps who keep our communities peaceful for business, or the street workers who keep gangs divided and blowing each other away. We want a society where the people socialistically control their labor.

Venceremos!

8. We oppose the Amerikkkan military.

We demand immediate withdrawal of u.s. military forces and bases from Puerto Rico, Vietnam and all oppressed communities inside and outside the u.s. No Puerto Rican should serve in the u.s. army against his Brothers and Sisters, for the only true army of oppressed people is the people’s army to fight all rulers.

U.S. Out Of Vietnam, Free Puerto Rico!

9. We want freedom for all political prisoners.

We want all Puerto Ricans freed because they have been tried by the racist courts of the colonizers, and not by their own people and peers. We want all freedom fighters released from jail.

Free All Political Prisoners!

10. We want equality for women. Machismo must be revolutionary… not oppressive.

Under capitalism, our women have been oppressed by both the society and our own men. The doctrine of machismo has been used by our men to take out their frustrations against their wives, sisters, mothers, and children. Our men must support their women in their fight for economic and social equality, and must recognize that our women are equals in every way within the revolutionary ranks.

Forward, Sisters, In The Struggle!

11. We fight anti-communism with international unity.

Anyone who resists injustice is called a communist by “the man” and condemned. Our people are brainwashed by television, radio, newspapers, schools, and books to oppose people in other countries fighting for their freedom. No longer will our people believe attacks and slanders, because they have learned who the real enemy is and who their real friends are. We will defend our Brothers and Sisters around the world who fight for justice against the rich rulers of this country.

Viva Che!

12. We believe armed self-defense and armed struggle are the only means to liberation.

We are opposed to violence–the violence of hungry children, illiterate adults, diseased old people, and the violence of poverty and profit. We have asked, petitioned, gone to courts, demonstrated peacefully, and voted for politicians full of empty promises. But we still ain’t free. The time has come to defend the lives of our people against repression and for revolutionary war against the businessman, politician, and police. When a government oppresses our people, we have the right to abolish it and create a new one.

Boricua Is Awake! All Pigs Beware!

13. We want a socialist society.

We want liberation, clothing, free food, education, health care, transportation, utilities, and employment for all. We want a society where the needs of our people come first, and where we give solidarity and aid to the peoples of the world, not oppression and racism.

Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

The Young Lords were a target of the FBI’s COINTELPRO, which had long harassed Puerto Rican independence groups. The New York-Chicago schism mirrored the “Divide and Conquer” divisions within other New Left groups like the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, Brown Berets and many other new left movements. All of these organizations were repressed. At first, the splits were believed to be the result of growing pains, as this movement was very young and spread quickly. But it is now documented that it was primarily due to police infiltration by informants and provocateurs, and planned and shaped by the ongoing undercover work of the FBI’s COINTELPRO

The leaders were framed, beaten, given high bonds, imprisoned, harassed, and discredited. The entire Chicago leadership was forced underground in order to reorganize itself. Tactics against the movements included negative rumor campaigns, pitting groups against each other and the creation of factionalism, distrust and personality conflicts. In Chicago, COINTELPRO created an official anti-Rainbow Coalition component. Members were interviewed in public view in front of the church. The Red Squad was also parked 24 hours a day in front of the national headquarters. Other harassment included inciting quarrels between spouses and between members and allies. The founder and chairman, Jose Cha Cha Jimenez not only was indicted 18 times in a six-week period for felony charges such as assault and battery on police to mob action; he was kept in the county jail, or in court rooms fighting the charges, and received constant death threats. 

While the Young Lords advocated armed strategies similar to those advocated by the Black Panthers, it was as a right of self-defense and rarely arose. It did after the shooting of Manuel Ramos and the implications of police foul play in the circumstances surrounding the beating death of José (Pancho) Lind, the supposed suicide of Julio Roldán in the custody of the NYPD and the fatal stabbings in Chicago of the United Methodist Church Rev. Bruce Johnson and his wife Eugenia, who pastored in Lincoln Park at the Young Lord’s first People’s Church in Chicago. 

The documentary Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords, produced by Young Lord Iris Morales, aired on PBS in 1996. Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords, documents the period from 1969 through the organization’s demise in 1976. The Young Lords represented another cycle of militancy, write Andres Torres and Jose Velasquez in The Puerto Rican Movement: Voices From the Diaspora, a collection of personal narratives from activists of the period. 

In 2015, The Young Lords was the focus of a new art exhibit organized by The Bronx Museum of the Arts called “¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York.” It is on view at three different cultural institutions in New York.

This D*ke March antisemitism is hitting me so hard. Of course all antisemitism hurts me, I’m Jewish. But it’s that much harder when it comes from another community of which I am also a part: I’m a lesbian. I’m consistently subjected to antisemitism in LGBT spaces under the guise of anti Zionism . But this? I’m going home to my family, who live exactly where Boy’s Town (the historic gay neighborhood in Chicago) and one of the biggest the Jewish neighbourhoods meet. Living there, in Chicago, as a Jewish Lesbian was the one place I really felt like could be authentically myself and true to all my intersecting identites. I always wanted to return, dreamed of raising a Jewish family there one day with my partner. Now that has been taken from me. That love, that sense of security, safety and acceptance. It’s gone. I just want people to know how personal this is for me so that when we’re talking about it, if you’re trying to defend the organizers of the March, you realize how real the impact of their actions is. For me and for people like me.

brainwad  asked:

Your comment about Chicago decaying made me think of the Dresden Files, & how Harry remarks that Chicago is built on Chicago, bc the swampy ground means everything is slowly sinking. How true is this?

100% true. Chicago is built on a swamp, predominantly between a river and a lake. Supposedly “Chi ka gua” means “swamp of the stinking onions” in a local indigenous language (I thiiiiiink the Potawatomi but I could be mistaken, don’t quote me).  

Prior to the introduction of the grillage in Chicago architecture – again don’t quote me but I believe a Chicago architect invented the grillage to deal with Chicago’s unique challenges – high-rise (for the time) buildings would be constructed with a built-in “sink” measurement, usually between eight and eighteen inches. Ground-level doors were placed slightly above ground level with the expectation that over the course of a year or two, the building would sink as it settled into the swampy soil. If you go to the Rookery Building on a Wednesday and take the Chicago Architectural Society tour they will take you into the service corridors of the building, which is pre-grillage, and you can see the frankly fascinating ways in which the floor of the building warped as it settled. 

A grillage is a series of steel beams layered across one another horizontally, which works a little like a raft, allowing a building to “float” on Chicago’s swampy soil; most buildings from the last century, including the one I live in, have a grillage underneath them. Someday a big earthquake is going to hit and it’s going to look awesome from somewhere other than inside Chicago. 

Additionally, the “Streeterville” neighborhood is named for a pirate and all-round asshole named Streeter who basically salvaged and dumped any goddamn rubbish he could find around a sandbar in the lake until he had literally extended Chicago out into the lake in a large enough swath to create an entirely new neighborhood, which is now one of the most expensive areas to live in. That part of Chicago is very literally built on Chicago, as I believe one of the sources of his rubbish was haul-off from the Great Chicago Fire. 

And to conclude there are parts of Chicago, just south of Streeterville, where factories creating very toxic byproducts dumped industrial waste, so part of Chicago is literally radioactive and you can’t build there without extensive soil studies being done to make sure you won’t kick up the radioactive dust and poison everything in the immediate vicinity. 

Chicago’s municipal motto, by the way, is “Urbs in Horto” which translates as “The City in the Garden”.

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This is a sample of what the Day Without Immigrants protest looks like in my Chicago neighborhood. The quest to buy a simple lunch during a work break quickly became an exercise in futility. The new place near our house that sells pupusas that I’d been curious about? Closed. The usual Mexican place I was thinking about hitting up for tacos. Closed. The Mexican market and its lunch counter? Closed. The diner? Closed. The Ecuadorian place? Closed. The produce market I was going to purchase tonight’s dinner ingredients from? Closed. And on and on. I had to resort to buying a bean and cheese burrito from 7-11 (full disclosure - I’m not above doing something like this on other days). I decided to walk off my terrible American meal by surveying the neighborhood and found numerous businesses shuttered, some with signs and many without.

Additionally, all this week a team of Polish roofers has been working on our house. They are an amazing, hard-working and reliable bunch. They start on time, they end on time, and they are clearly ahead of schedule on their job. This morning the foreman called about an hour after they normally start and told me they have a big job they need to complete at another site and will be back tomorrow to finish up. I believe he used the word “emergency.” I didn’t question this because it’s true. Forcing a massive change in this country is a big job. It is an emergency. You want a country without immigrants, documented or undocumented? Enjoy your shitty 7-11 burrito.

“This stuff happened in an apartment I lived in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, IL. I moved into this apartment, a typical Chicago four plus one, in Sept. 2003, and my husband (then-boyfriend) moved in Oct. 2003. We had 2 cats–a light orange tabby and a mostly-white calico (still have them, too!).

I had a few experiences at this apartment but what I’m sharing here is the first experience (and most terrifying). I have had other paranormal experiences since moving out of this apartment but none of them can hold a candle to this one. It took me 8 years to come to terms with this experience. I am a very logical person and for the longest time I was at a loss to explain this. But there’s one thing I know for sure–it absolutely happened.

In late summer/early fall 2004, I went to bed one night but as usual could not fall asleep quickly. Our cats normally went to bed with me but they didn’t on this night, so I sat up in bed, hoping I would see them and could call them to me. It was dark but not pitch dark because the apartment’s windows let in faint light. When I sat up, I focused my eyes on the hallway to see if I could spot the cats playing/running around. But as soon as I focused my eyes on the hallway, I realized there was a very dark black (the blackest black you can think of–blacker than black, even, like velveteen tar) mass just past where the very brief hallway ended and the dining area started. It was around 7 feet high, and had a rough head and shoulder/torso shape but the rest of it kind of faded off.

I wasn’t alarmed at first–if anything I leaned forward to try to get a better look, because I absolutely couldn’t believe my eyes. I was baffled! But when I leaned forward, the thing seemed to turn and look at me, and when it did, I saw two red eyes in the “head”. I did not see any other features and I don’t remember if the eyes were glowing or just plain red but they were indeed red (and this is the biggest reason it took me so long to come to terms with this experience–red eyes are supposed to be of horror movies and scary stories, not reality).

When the thing looked at me, my amazement/confusion was quickly replaced by fear. And then it swooped through the bedroom doorway and towards me. I did the only damn thing I could think of, and that was duck under the covers like a kid hiding from the boogeyman.

I was scared shitless…I have been in some scary situations in my life but that particular fear was primal and almost unearthly. After several moments I began to run out of air beneath the covers so I decided to elbow my sleeping husband in the ribs hard enough to irritate him and make him wake up/sit up/roll over/DO SOMETHING. It worked and when he didn’t react strangely I figured the thing was gone….and it was.

(I wasn’t able to get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night for weeks after this…I also made it a point to NOT look at the doorway if I did happen to wake up in the night.)

I–and later my husband–saw the shadow again but it never appeared remotely as threatening.”

By: limabeanns (Creepypasta are great, but does anyone have any good true creepy stories?)

flickr

(via Long ago Along the ‘L’ | One of my early 'L’ shots taken at … | Flickr)

A northbound L train passes a Standard Oil gas station at Glenwood and Pratt in Rogers Park in 1963.

Chicago

Photo by Lou Gerard

On Diversity: A Snapshot of My America

My main job is taking pictures of homes for real estate agents.  While most of the homes I photograph are in the upper-middle to high-end price range, I do take pictures in what can be described as blue-collar, working class areas.  One of my shoots yesterday was in one of these neighborhoods.  A neighborhood where the average home price is below the local median average.  A neighborhood where people take pride in their homes even when they don’t always have the time or money to make them look as nicely as they want.  It was in just such a neighborhood that I was reminded not only what has always made America great but just how wrong and dangerous modern-day conservatives are to what really makes America great.

As I pulled up to the house, it looked like a thousand others in the area, a nicely landscaped Cape Cod with an American flag softly waving in the breeze from a pole in the front yard and a black Ford F-250 parked in the driveway.  I fully expected the owners to be the typical white, blue-collar working class people who heavily dominate this particular part of town.  When they opened the door, all I could think of was, “Never judge a book by its cover.”  Instead of the white, blue-collar worker I’d expected to see, I was kindly greeted by a Muslim woman in her early 40s wearing a hijab.   She introduced me to her equally kind husband and the two of them proceeded to be more friendly and helpful than any home sellers I’ve interacted with in months.  They offered me water.  They offered me coffee.  They offered me cake.  They moved with me from room-to-room making sure bedspreads were straight, pillows were fluffed, blinds were pulled, lights were on…  Usually, I cannot stand sellers even in the house when I take pictures, let alone bird dogging me.  If other sellers were as nice and helpful as this couple, I’d completely change this attitude.  

While how they treated and helped me stood out, I still couldn’t stop thinking about the contrast of the “book” and the “cover.”  While the outside of their home said, “All-American,” the artwork, paint colors, Qurans, and back addition with Arabic seating area of the the inside said, “All-Muslim.”  As I was going from room-to-room taking pictures, I kept thinking about the contrast of the home’s external to internal characteristics.  I’ve shot many a home where the outside was very traditional but the inside was very contemporary.   The outside not jibing with the inside is nothing new.  However, this was very different.  This wasn’t a contrast between architectural/design styles.  The more I thought about this particular contrast, the more I loved it.  I loved the blending of cultures because this is exactly what America is supposed to represent.  From China Town in San Francisco to the Polish part of Detroit to the Irish parts of Boston to the Mexican neighborhoods of Los Angeles, America stands for people coming from other lands, becoming part of the whole but still maintaining a love and appreciation of their heritage.  

If all I had experienced was the contrast of the exterior to the interior of the home, that would have been more than enough to reaffirm my faith in what America is supposed to represent.  What happened as I was taking the exterior shots took these feelings of diversity, what America really represents, and just how dangerous and evil the rightwing hate machine are to the entire system.

While I was outside taking pictures, the owners came out to make sure things were picked up.  While they were in the front of the house straitening out a couple of chairs on the front porch, a couple of their neighbors who were out in their yards doing work came over to chat.  By the time I worked my way around to the front of the house, standing on the front sidewalk were the Muslim owners, an African-American man in his early 30s, and an older white man in his late 60s having a conversation that ranged from landscaping to auto repair to kids/grandkids to restaurant suggestions.  If I described the scene and read you the text of the entire conversation with a Texas accent, it would read like a “King of The Hill” script.

What really struck me wasn’t the nature of their conversation, it was very similar to ones I heard growing up in rural Idaho.  It was very similar to ones I’ve heard in the neighborhoods of Chicago.  It was very similar to conversations that take place every day across the country from Girdwood Alaska to Mobile Alabama.  In spite of the diversity of the participants-their ages, their religions, their cultures, their backgrounds…, they had fundamental experiences, wants, needs, desires… in common.  What struck me was this scene being played out in an average-sized town in the Rust Belt is the direct opposite of what the right-wing and white nationalist hate machines spew out non-stop every day.

The scene I witnessed is what America really is all about and what modern-day conservatives and their very overlapping Venn Diagram counterparts, white supremacists fear the most.  They fear this kind of neighborly camaraderie.  They fear that diversity really isn’t a problem because they are beholden to their ignorant beliefs and hate that have been passed down to them by their ancestors and meticulously cultivated by fear mongers and grifters.  White flight didn’t happen because minorities moving into predominately white areas caused problems.  White flight happened because whites were afraid of people that didn’t look like them, didn’t have familiar sounding names, had different points of view.  When white flight wasn’t an option, whites hemmed minorities into very specific areas through redlining policies and practices.  

The racist and bigoted fears Donald Trump tapped into to win the election are based on lies about minorities and about the natural status of whites.  The scene I witnessed on the sidewalk of a quiet, little neighborhood was perfectly natural.  It was a scene that is played out across the country every day between neighbors.  When it played out between only whites the reason isn’t because minorities don’t know how or want to participate but because they haven’t been welcomed to the neighborhood/town.  The wants, needs, fears, concerns… of people who have similar economic situations don’t vary from one another very much.  This isn’t a revelation.  Many studies have been done showing that people who live in multi-cultural, diverse areas are much more tolerant and have less racist/bigoted views than those who live in less diverse areas.  People exposed to other cultures and heritages are not as overly protective of their own.

As much as I admire and appreciate people celebrating their heritage, it is something I’ve never personally experienced. I’m an Anglo-Saxon mutt.  My heritage is mostly English and Scottish and my ancestors came to America many, many generations ago.  I personally feel no love or bond with this heritage.  I feel closer to the culture and people of Japan from living there for two years than I do to my Western European roots.  This could be because I truly lived and experienced the one and not the other.  The Japanese culture is more ingrained into my psychological matrix than something I only have a distant genetic connection to.  

Like all people and cultures, the Japanese have great traits and serious flaws. Because I’m a pragmatist at heart, the one trait they have that I admired the most is their ability, as a culture, to take an idea or behavior from another culture that is good, incorporate it into their own culture while not losing who they truly are.  I call this Ala Carte Culture.  You pick and choose what you like from other cultures, leave the bad aspects of these cultures behind, and absorb the good into your own culture in a way that doesn’t diminish who you are.  

A good example of this in Japan can be found in the saying, “In Japan, you are born a Shinto, married a Christian, and buried a Buddhist.”  When I first heard this saying, being a typical American, I couldn’t wrap my brain around it.  Imagine someone in America telling you, “My kids will be born Jewish, married Lutheran, and buried Mormon.”  If someone told you this, you’d stare at them wondering what the hell they were talking about. In Japan, their phrase gets no such reaction from other Japanese.  It is accepted as being true.  “In Japan, you are born a Shinto, married a Christian, and buried a Buddhist,” bothered me for months until someone explained it to me. “Shintoism celebrates being born. Christianity celebrates getting married.  Buddhism celebrates death. The best celebrations and parties are what the Japanese adopted into their culture for each of these events.”  

I love this idea. Why not take the best of other cultures and incorporate it into your own?  It’s an idea that should fit perfectly with a country like America which was founded on cultural diversity.  If a homogeneous, often isolated country like Japan can do this, a country that is the “Great Melting Pot of The World” should not only be able to do this easily, it should be aggressively doing it.  Unfortunately, the open, diverse, all people are created equal society is the one resistant to learning from other cultures and the where the dominant group fears and demonizes those outside their group who want to honor, cherish, and incorporate the best parts of their own cultures.

This resistance and fear of other ideas and cultures are at the root of America’s long, unjustifiable history of racism and bigotry.  “If it’s white, it’s right,” is the default mindset for white America. Who is allowed to be called “white” has been arbitrary throughout our history.  Jews were once not considered white.  Neither were Italians.  Neither were Germans.  Neither were the Irish.  Only once a group has been accepted as “white” are their cultural ideas and celebrations accepted.  White suburbia now doesn’t give a second thought to their kids celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at school but if the school decided to celebrate Kwanzaa with as much enthusiasm, they’d lose their damn minds. Irish-Americans love and honor their heritage to the same degree as Mexican-Americans, Muslim-Americans, African-Americans…  The main reason we, as a country, don’t care about or think twice about Irish-Americans or other “white” nationalities celebrating their heritage is because they have been accepted into the “white club.”  Celebrating and honoring one’s heritage isn’t the problem for racists and bigots.  It’s who gets to do it.

In the America that claims to be the “Great Melting Pot,” where for the first time in history a government was formed on the idea that all people are created equal, where diversity is supposed to be our greatest strength, the tableau I witnessed represented everything America can and should be.  It was also stark counter-evidence to one of the main claims of white nationalists and the right wing that multi-culturalism can’t work because non-whites won’t/can’t assimilate.  There are many problems with this claim: 1-it presumes white culture is the dominant one that everyone must assimilate to; 2-the entire notion of “white culture” is riddled with problems; 3-the evidence in diverse areas completely contradicts it.

My America is what I witnessed the other day on a sidewalk in a Rust Belt city.  My America isn’t afraid of others celebrating their heritage.  My America isn’t white-centric.  My America is the real America and no one will ever convince me otherwise.   The youth of my America know and feel this better than my peers.  This gives me hope for my children.  If only my generation gives them the opportunity to live up to what it means to be a real American better than my generation.

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This isn’t a *breaking* news story but I think it came out last week.

Just a regular reminder that US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the man that was too racist to be appointed as a federal judge in 1986, is doing everything in his power as a Trump cabinet member to roll us back into Jim Crow.

This is more than just “white men in power are doing things that white men in power do” (since we’re stating the obvious today) It’s a reminder to keep track of these things because with institutional changes in law enforcement, policing and civil rights protections - and be AWARE that this will impact communities and neighborhoods on a macro level across the country. Everyday community members in neighborhoods Chicago have to fight the national narrative of the “failed black community” and remind the nation that the negative stories that we choose to see are a result of legislation and acts just like this.

your-tragic-fate-deactivated201  asked:

Do you have any tips on finding a place in Chicago and which areas are good and which aren't, both people wise and money wise?

Try DreamTown’s information on Chicago neighborhoods (link). It’ll give you an overview of each neighborhood, its history, local resources/shopping/food, local house listings & recent sales, and a link to crime statistics.

You can get detailed demographic information on each neighborhood here from City Data (link).

Finally, the Chicago Tribune has the neighborhood (and suburb) crime rankings (link).

3 Chicago Neighborhoods to Explore

Fun fact: as a student at DePaul, you receive a train pass (called the Ventra card) which allows you to go ANYWHERE in the city - for free. As long as you can access it via train or bus, the city is your playground.

With so many neighborhoods in Chicago, the task to see them all can be daunting. Luckily, I’ve created this handy list for you. The list is in no particular order, and everything will probably relate back to food. As it always does.

1. Lincoln Park: DePaul is located in the heart of Lincoln Park, but the neighborhood itself is quite large. My favorite area is on Halsted between Fullerton and Armitage, where there are endless restaurants and boutiques for you to explore. 

Favorite restaurant: Blue Door Farm Stand. A delicious cafe that features amazing salads (get the Kale one) and homemade desserts (get the carrot cake). 

2. Ravenswood: In my opinion, Ravenswood is quickly becoming one of the “it” neighborhoods. It is slightly more residential than Lincoln Park, which allows for a quieter feel. I love getting a coffee and walking around this area in the mornings, it’s quite relaxing and peaceful. 

Favorite restaurant(s): Baker Miller and Spacca Napoli. Baker Miller is the cutest restaurant that serves breakfast and brunch. They make their own bread, grind their own oats, and prepare fantastic breakfast dishes. Get the sourdough cinnamon roll, please.

Spacca Napoli is a classic Italian pizza restaurant. I’m not a huge fan of deep dish pizza (oops!), which is why I love this place so much. Not a deep dish pizza in sight. Instead, classic Italian pizzas with an authentic feel.

3. Wicker Park: This is the quintessential hipster area of Chicago. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you will definitely see an insane number of indie record stores, thrift stores, and flip phones. It’s a great place to spend the day!

Favorite restaurant: Antique Taco. Probably the cutest restaurant I’ve been to in Chicago. I usually get the Mexican pop-tart for my birthday every year, and you can’t go wrong with any of their tacos. The menu is constantly changing, too! All the more reason to visit weekly. 

I might make another list if you guys enjoyed this. Make sure to explore the city while you’re a student here. Chicago is the greatest place in the world! :)

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flickr

IC E9A 4036 with The City of Miami at Grand Crossing, Chicago on March 31, 1964 by Marty Bernard
Via Flickr:
Grand Crossing is a neighborhood in Chicago. The photo was taken at 75th and the Skyway. The original Grand Crossing of railroads was eliminated with grade separations.

anonymous asked:

I stole a confederate flag from a neighbor in my majority black and brown neighborhood in Chicago. 😑 like in fucking Chicago. Lol

hell yes go you

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MAY 24 - GWENDOLYN BROOKS

In 1950, Gwendolyn Brooks became the first Black person to win a Pulitzer Prize, taking home the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her second book Annie Allen. She had shown an affinity for the art form since childhood, later stating in life, “I felt that I had to write. Even if I had never been published, I knew that I would go on writing, enjoying it and experiencing the challenge.“

Brooks published her first poem in a children’s magazine by thirteen, developed a portfolio of approximately seventy-five different poems by sixteen and, by seventeen, her work was regularly seen in print in The Chicago Defender, a newspaper devoted to serving Chicago’s Black population. 

After graduating from Wilson Junior College in 1936, Brooks worked as a secretary to support herself while she sharpened her craft by attending workshops, writing diligently and finding inspiration in her surroundings. “I wrote about what I saw and heard in the street,” she once said. “I lived in a small second-floor apartment at the corner, and I could look first on one side and then the other. There was my material.”

Her hard work paid off in 1945 when her first book of poetry A Street in Bronzeville was met with instant critical claim, earning her a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and her first Guggenheim Fellowship. She continued along the Bronzeville narrative with 1950′s Annie Allen, weaving tales of a young Black girl as she grew into womanhood in the Chicago neighborhood. Fellow poet Langston Hughes described the characters of Annie Allen as “alive, reaching, and very much of today”.

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