family history

Seeing Santa

My online friend, Shirley Hershey Showalter, inspired me to write this post about a favorite Christmas memory. I signed up to...

Discovery in attic: long-hidden letters & diaries

Standing under naked beams in the attic’s dim light, we discovered a large box labelled in my mother’s neat printing: “Lil and Fred’s Letters and Diaries.” I ripped off the packing tape and folded back four cardboard flaps. A misty spray of dust and the odor of old paper wafted up....

“Would you panic if a Negro moved next door?” Sat. Evening Post

In July 1962, a few months after I graduated from grade school and one year before the first black family moved onto our block, The Saturday Evening Post, a venerable magazine of the time, ran an article entitled, "Confessions of a Blockbuster." I highly recommend it to understand how insidious racist lending policies, exploited by real estate predators, undermined the housing dreams of both black and white families.

Race and change in 1960’s West Side Chicago

Well, the mystery of who bought the Young-Parker house has been solved. As more or less expected, the colored moved...

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