"The transformation of the South Shore section of Chicago from an all-white neighborhood to a near totally black one was complete by the time the Great Migration ended in the mid-1970s" (506). -- Isabel Wilkerson
We've covered a considerable amount of time as we've read The Warmth of Other Suns. In the course of time, there had been considerable changes. During the section we read for this week, Wilkerson moves us well into the late 1990s.
What challenge or change did you find most notable confronting Chicago residents like Ida Mae Gladney during this time period? Why? Please provide a page number.
A challenge I found most notable when confronting Chicago residents such as Ida Mae Gladney was that she was a witness to crimes and illegal activities that took place in the neighborhood, just from looking out the window. She would see sex, drug dealers, and gangs on a regular basis, but she kept to herself. It was a reality to me, because there are many people who face this in Chicago and other cities now. In fact Ida Mae Gladney stated, "Detectives are the ones doing the dirt (468)." Most people know of crooked law enforcement and this is a huge reason why people like Ida Mae Gladney don't get involved in any trouble.There is so much controversy when it comes to doing the right thing such as reporting crimes and what consists of the "right thing."This section was interesting and comparable to life now.
The challenge I found most notable for the Chicago residents was that they went to the CAPS meetings, never missing one, and conditions still did not improve. The residents spoke to police officers, politicians, and many more about the crimes happening on their streets. The then Senator and now President Barack Obama even came to a meeting offering his services and help. The residents did not want to give up their home to the crime. Even though it seemed hopeless and there wasn't much they could do, they still fought.
The change I found most notable was on page 478 when the OJ Simpson case was brought up in conversation. Not only do I find it notable because this passage was in 1996 and it is now 2016 and there are still issues emerging from the case. But, the concept of interracial relationships is still somewhat controversial to this day - which is dependent on opinion. Although this was in the late 90s, to this day I've asked myself if the world will ever be depicted in a way where color doesn't matter and love is love regardless of race/ethnicity. It is interesting to see where we have come and acknowledge where we still have to go in terms of this concept.
One of the challenges facing the people of Chicago at that time was all the violence, which still happens today. On page 509, the author author states how one of the CAPS members was shot and and that they hadn't caught the killer yet. This was notable to me because much of the violence that has plagued Chicago for decades still exists without change. Hopefully someday a plan can be made to help reduce the amount of violence in the city.
The one change I found most notable was when Ida Mae talks about the lack of self respect the younger generation has for themselves. " Ida Mae and James and Eleanor can't understand how they do the things they do, how they would rather trawl the streets than go to work every day and be able to hold their heads high" (466). It was almost as if many blacks lost themselves during the migration North. The city also witnessed a large amount of crime in these black neighborhoods. Members of the neighborhood were the primary source of destroying it.
A challenge I found most notable was when they described how there was a crisis in the city because two grade-schoolers had been accused of killing another child and Ida said, "they curse like sailors, throw rocks, they got no home training and they mama can't do nothing 'cause she on drugs" (467). I think not only was it sad for this elderly woman to witness these things right outside of her window, but it is even more sad because things like this still occur in present day society.
At first, I did not find anything very interesting about the challenges for the people of Chicago like Ida Mae, but then I realized its because the problems occurring are normal to me. These days, it seems that I am always hearing about gangs and what's wrong with today's youth, but what Ida Mae and other grown ups who didn't grow up in the last few decades know, is not what we know. Black people from before around the 1970's were fighting against whites and segregation, not each other. And this seems to be Ida Mae's challenge: seeing her own community killing each other and harming each other, after fighting so hard to get where they are(465-468,506-508).
The challenge I found most notable was when Ida Mae Gladney would see crimes being committed or people getting arrested just by looking out of her window. She never saw any of this when she was in Mississippi. She even thought that “some of the police are not much better than the criminals,”(468). This just showed that people had to face even more things after they migrated.
The biggest challenge black people had to face was the immense amount of discrimination that was being thrown into every single day. When discussings Ida Mae it was normal for her to hear gun shots and interact with drug dealers ((467). That is something, especially during this time, that no white person ever had to endure. Thus, there is a feeling of incompleteness in the black community during this time - they feel defeated.
(I left my book at home so idk page numbers)
The notable part was the fact that Ida Mae had to live with drug dealers literally right outside of her home. It is ridiculous that, even with reporting every new thing, nothing got done. However,it's not the most surprising for that time. It just illustrates the severity even more that, not only is she and the rest lawful members of the community stigmatized by the violence around them, they have to live with ultimately deadly crime literally right outside of their homes.
The challenge I found most notable was how migrants such as Ida Mae had to face the ever changing environment of their neighborhoods. It was notable because it reminds me of stories told by my grandparents and some of my friend's grandparents of how times have changed so much since they were younger, mostly for the worse. A quote that stood out to me was one in which the author described the grandchildren of migrants writing, "These are the lost grandchildren of the Migration who have grown hard in the big city and did not absorb the lessons of the past or the good to be found in the steadying rituals and folk wisdom of the South" (pg. 466).
The challenges that were most notable concerning residents like Ida Mae Gladney was the amount of crime that took place in her neighborhood. On page 467 the narrator talks about how Ida doesn't flinch at certain sounds, because she knows the difference between danger and non danger. Ida also describes that she would never go outside at night time, not because she was scared, but because she didn't want to be caught in the crossfire. Even though there is a lot of crime and corruption going on around her Ida still tries to remain neutral and and stays out of the way, even though she is a witness to a lot of the crime.
A challenge that I found notable when reading these pages, was how the residents in Chicago interacted with the police officer and politicians, about the on going crime that was occurring in their streets and neighborhoods. For example, on page 467-468, Ida Gladney would look outside her window and would see sex, and drug leaders, along with gangs. Has that changed? I don't think so. For now, I think ways for doing these activities have become much more creative and large scale.
Ida Mae Gladney watched out her window and saw what some of us can't imagine occurring in our neighborhoods. When she spoke of the lack of respect the younger generations had for themselves (page 466-467). How does an once oppressed--still feeling the remnants of this oppression--race expect to earn the respect of their past oppressors when they cannot respect their own person. At this point, the oppressed have in a way become their own oppressor.
A challenge I found most notable while reading this particular section was the description of the Chicago neighborhood. The rendition on page 507 regarding carjacking, robbery, and other examples of violence was quite interesting. The similarities between present day Chicago and the streets of Chicago mentioned are fairly unsettling.
The most notable section was when they discussed how she had to live with drug dealers outside and near her home. This is most notable because I am a Chicago native and although I am well aware of those living conditions, I never experienced it.
A challenge I found to be notable was that of Ida Mae and all that she witnessed (466-467). It stood out to me because this was what my grandma did back in Chicago when she was alive. She was always looking out the window, trying to keep up with everything going on in the neighborhood. It made wonder if she witnessed things almost as ridiculous as what Ida Mae witnessed and if making herself aware of these things kept her sane like Ida Mae.
A challenge i found to be the most notable was how Ida Mae explained that conditions of her neighborhood. This really spoke to me because my parents had told me similar stories of the neighborhood they lived in Washington D.C when they first immigrated to the the U.S from Sierra Leone in the early 90s. It just goes to show you that many large cities were having the same problems in their minority neighborhoods.
I also found that the challenge I found to be the most notable was on page 467. Throughout the all the readings, I kept comparing the past to the present of the places mentioned. When she talked about looking out the window amd observing, It reminds me of stories my grandma used to tell. She spoke of how she kept tabs on the people in the neighborhood and how she always knew what was going on! Just like in the book, Ida Mae knew the ins and out on everything.
Ida Mae's challenge was the most notable to be because its something that is still very prevalent in some places in the U.S. There are neighborhoods in St. Louis and Chicago were drug deals and shootings happen routinely. In these neighborhoods, you have people like Ida who aren't used to it and are in for a eye opening experience.
The quote on page 506 sums up my response well. It states, "Had a study...been conducted if Ida Mae's adopted neighborhood, it might have concluded that there were, in fact, two neighborhoods- one, hardworking and striving to be middle class, the other, transient, jobless, and underclass; one, owners of property, the other tenants and squatters; one, church-going and law-abiding, the other, drug-dealing and criminal- both coexisting on the same streets, one at odds with the other." Many of my peers wrote about the same topic, but I must say that I agree. This struggle of two different economic cultural colliding in the same space cannot be an easy adjustment and it this clash cannot survive in the same environment. One will win out. One will be more forceful and destructive than the other.
In the beginning of the chapter, the author writes about Ida Mae, who is an elderly woman, living in a time where the black youth is much different, much more bold than when she was younger. The most notable challenge in the book, is relevant and currently going on in the city of Chicago daily...worse in the summer. On page 466, Ida Mae talks about the crimes, aka the norm and daily activities that occur in the city. This would not be seen in the suburbs and because it is not a norm, the suburban police would be involved quickly. It was disheartening to read on page 467 about a 7 year old child being accused of murder. It was even harder when Ida Mae came to the realization that kids these days "curse like sailors, they throw rocks, they do everything they big enough to do." The truth is black youth are becoming more aggressive, more bold, and more violent which is why Chicago is really not a safe city to raise children in.
I was going to say the most notable part was Ida Mae saying how she was a witness to crimes and illegal activities just from looking out her window; however, if i say this is notable or not common, I'd be lying. Coming from Chicago, I've seen many crimes while driving, walking down the street or sitting on the porch. I've seen robberies, sexual offenses, drug deals, etc. The bad thing about it is I'm never taken aback by it; it has become a norm and it doesn't surprise me at all. I guess it was a bigger deal back in the day because the neighborhood changes were 'new' and different than what it had been like. However, its not new to me; i'm used to it.
I think the most notable thing in this section was the attitudes within the neighborhood from the police toward the people. I thought it was interesting when they had the meeting to discuss the city ordinance that would eliminate the loitering on the block, yet one man from another neighborhood stood in opposition stating, "It will make open season on all black youth" (509). That sentence alone kind of set me back simply because it was profound, but reflecting on the attitudes surrounding police that still exist in Chicago today, I see not much progress has been made. And although many of these things occurred years ago, because these attitudes were so strong, they never were changed.
One situation I found most notable was on page 474 with George. It talked about him seeing a white woman and a black man walking down the street, and in his time he would have been killed for something like that. This is a very positive change to have been a part of, but it must have been so difficult to live through these two very different times. I think I would have a very hard time trusting whites to allow this behavior, when just some 30 years ago one would be murdered for it.
Along with a lot of others, page 466 stood out to me. It describes, "A teenage mother has just popped her son for something Ida Mae can't make out because a car passes by just when the mother yells something at the boy. Usually it's "M-F-" or "G-d-." The book also describes the inappropriate behavior of the children and even how a 7 year old boy was the ringleader of a murder plot. The broken family unit is the root of a lot of problems in cities. When children don't have attentive, loving, caring parents, they will begin to seek for their needs elsewhere. Whenever children have a group of friends that they bond with, that cold broken home gets even colder. This leads people into accepting a life of violence and crime.
I think the challenges facing residents, especially older people, like Ida Mae was seeing their own people change before her eyes. As talked about earlier in the book, many people who migrated north left everything behind, including family and community. When you leave everything you know, it is difficult to watch as the younger generations completely deter from the upbringing people like Ida knew. Although one may get used to their surroundings, the hurt of the the loss of the culture they knew is likely to remain (465-468).
The change I found most notable was the beat meetings that people were able to attend to find out about the crime in their neighbor. The challenge of having the police do something about it was also notable. It seemed that the police were more interested in arrests rather than taking necessary steps to prevent more crime and making residents feel safe. Even when the Barack Obama came to speak to them as the state senator, the people attending the meeting seemed less interested in what he had to say because, in the back of their minds, they figured he would not do anything about it, just like the officers. (506-511)
What I found most interesting was that in Chicago they could look out of their windows and look at a multitude of crimes being committed. What was shocked was that the community would enter these CAPS meeting, voice their concerns, and conditions would remain the same. What was reported about Ferguson include that the people would not interact with their law enforces, politicians, and those in power. These conditions against them closely related to the situation in Chicago. Despite the change of locations the situations the face remained the same.
A challenge I found very interesting was on page 467. It was the increase of drug dealers and lookout boys and how they had respect for Ida Mae. The crime in the city increased and most people no longer felt safe going out alone. The drug dealers lived a life they seemed okay with and dealt with all the consequences that came with it. They looked out for Ida Mae and warned her when crime was on the rise and she would be in danger if she went out at night.
A challenge I found to be notable was that of Ida Mae and all that she witnessed (466-467). It stood out to me because this was what my grandma does when I visit her in Chicago. She is always looking out the window, trying to keep up with everything going on in the neighborhood. It made me wonder if she witnessed things almost as ridiculous as what Ida Mae witnessed and if making herself aware of these things kept her sane like Ida Mae.
The challenge that I viewed as most notable was that of the adjustment to certain environments. The amount of crime within Ida Mae's neighborhood had increased. It was noted, for instance, that “some of the police are not much better than the criminals,”(468). This quote certainly solidifies the previously stated notions. It is disheartening to know that individuals were exposed to this amount of violence and crime.
One of the challenges I found most intriguing was that of the changing times. Certainly there was drug dealing and violence going on during the times of people like Ida Mae, but the circumstances were much different then. They're left to try and make sense of and understand a culture that they did not grow up in. This is evident from a quote on pg.466 which reads "Ida Mae and Eleanor can't understand how they do the things they do, how they would rather trawl the streets than go to work every day and be able to hold their heads high." In a sense, it is much like the culture shock one tends to experience when entering a new and unfamiliar place.
The fact that as Ide Mae looked out of her window on page 468, she would witness crime like she never has in Mississippi. It is also alarming that she would see police that were dirty or even dirtier than criminals. This creates an area that promotes crime. Whenever the ordered is contributing to the chaos, every one should take a step back and reevaluate what is going in the community.
The challenge I found most notable confronting Chicago residents is that they migrated from the south to have a better life from the segregation and unequal rights, only to find that black people weren't using their new opportunities to escape the oppression and downfalls. There was more gang violence and hate within the black community against one another, which those who migrated weren't used to seeing because before it was only from the whites. It was disheartening to read the many stories of people who lived in that time period and faced so much, only to move and see no improvement among their own people, and to have to say, "things were so much different, Drugs wasn't even heard of where I came from, and "We got to being Americanized. I got to where we don't help each other." (p. 470) Ida Mae's story was the worst , however, because she saw so many awful things in her neighborhood. She had to build an outer shell as to protect herself from the negative things she witnesses day in and day out.
What I found most interesting is the lack of change. On page 479, they talked about the relationships between blacks and whites. They even touched on the relationship between the police and blacks. Its ironic because the problems with the police that exists now always exist, but just in a different way. The moral of the story is that if you do not know your history, it will continue to repeat itself.
I think that Ida Mae Gladney described the situation of this next generation going up in Chicago fairly well saying, "Something about too many people packed together and nothing to guide them makes children worse than they used to be, to her mind." (p. 466) This second generation after the Great Migration has forgot the reason why their parents chose to move north. Ida Mae sees this but chooses not to waste her advice on deaf ears. This is still true in my generation, where we miss out on the wisdom that our elders hold because of the age gap which prevents most people from reaching out to our elders and learning from their stories, we just end up stunting our own growth.
What I found most challenging at this time was the amount of crime and prostitution going on during this time. There is a really huge difference now during this time from when the whites were controlling the south shore. P. 508, Talks about how Ida Mae speaks with the police officer about a benign crime and the officer ignored her and walked away. It makes it seem like to me that he doesn't care. I feel like regardless of the type of crime being committed, the people during this time are afraid to leave their homes and enjoy the neighborhood that they pay to live it. It is really sad and almost heartbreaking to hear about this things that have changed for the worst now.
The most interesting thing to me is the generation gap from the Migration. "These are the lost grandchildren of the Migration who have grown hard in the big city and did not absorb the lessons of the past or the good to be found in the steadying rituals and folk wisdom of the South...they would rather trawl the streets than go to work every day and be able to hold their heads high" (pg. 466). This was the start of my generation of children and my parents were the ones on drugs. I was fortunate enough to be raised by my grandparents who still had values and raised me with decency. It honestly hurts my heart to think about others who didn't have the parents they should have and the situation seems to be getting worse.
The challenge that I found most notable that Chicago residents face, was seeing the downfall of the neighborhoods they once took pride in. On page 466-467 Ida Mae's relives the scenery that her neighborhood took. Gang violence erupted, the murder rate increased, and the overall crime left many feeling unsafe in their home. Many people felt like their homes were now unfamiliar and unsafe territories.
Ida Mae Gladney describes the challenges facing Chicago residents in this period fairly well when she says, "Something about too many people packed together and nothing to guide them makes the children worse than they used to be..." (p. 466) Ida Mae sees all of these crazy things happening right out side her window, but realizes that her advice would only fall on deaf ears, she doesn't reach out to help them. This is still primarily true today where elders are sometimes hesitant to reach out to younger generations because we are so stubborn. A lot of wisdom dies with our elders, resulting in us falling into the same pitfalls that could have been avoided with that knowledge.
On page 509 the author talks about how a CAPS member died and they still havent found the killer. I found this most notable because cases like those happen even now on a daily basis and it shows how far back this violence goes. This shows that chicago is still having the same problems and it gives the reader something to relate to.
While reading this section and attempting to recall moments that have notable changes, it was a difficult task. I could say that the moment when Ida had the several drug deals occur outside her window on many occasions (pg 466). I'm sure drug activity was a lot more covert back in the height of the great migration, as in drug deals did not take place in front of people's residences too often. As the whites moved out of these neighborhoods and the black neighborhoods went on a decline in the 1970s, this was when things took a turn for the worse. I can also see that in the late 1990s, the residents in black neighborhoods teamed up to demand the city to make improvements to the neighborhoods that have declined over decades (pg 509). This probably wouldn't not have been as successful in the 1950s-1960s.
One of the changes that I found most notable was on page 466 when she discusses the amount of crime and violence in their own neighborhoods. I found this notable because in the beginning of the book there was a lot more camaraderie among blacks when they were doing everything they had to do to survive but as the newer generations grew up a lot of this was lost as the psychological effects of Jim Crow laws continues to affect them.
I actually found the CAPS situation the most interesting. This is because they never seemed to achieve any sort of progression as they were going to these meetings. There was never any bettering of the community, it just seemed as though everything was staying the same terrible way.
In reading this passage a few things stood out to me. One was the violence and how prevalent it was in this society. Like with Ida Mae how she didn't need to watch the police drama on television because it was right out her window (466). Another thing is how being able to "walk down the street with a white woman" was such a privilege (479). Coming from an interracial couple, I've seen firsthand how it always raises a brow and it blows my mind that even today it is merely tolerated.
What stood out to me was the residents were afraid to talk about the crimes they witnessed in the city because of their fear of being attacked or killed then members of CAPS were actually and their murderers. (508-509) It is crazy to think that innocent people were being killed for only wanting to better their community.
The aspect that I found most notable was the fact that black on black crime was becoming such a thing that people could simply watch out of there windows and see things happening like it was normal; Ida Mae even made the comment that she did not have to watch TV to see crimes being committed because she could simply look right out of her window (466-7). Although it occurs in my world today, I do not think it is as blatant and out in the open and that is what shocked me.
Challenges that I saw that really raised an eyebrow are concerning residents like Ida Mae Gladney and the amount of crime seen in her neighborhood. On page 467 Ida didnt flinch at certain noises because she is accustomed to know the difference between danger and non danger. Ida also said that she could not go outside after dark to avoid being caught in the crossfire. Ida witness plenty crime and corruption but tries to stay out of the way. This is interesting because in Black communities this is unfortunately apart of the code don't see, don't care and don't know.
On page 497, the issue of sub par medical care was addressed. I felt this confronting because of the undeniable feelings of utter hopelessness that patients of that time period and socioeconomic status must have had.
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