This is a preview for an upcoming piece for Social Matter. This excerpt from the Staff Report to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence should set the mood:
The BSU’s off-campus center is not a particularly easy place to find, even when you have the correct address. First you have to find the center of the “Fillmore,” a narrow, low-income, mixed-minority group neighborhood of Victorian-style wooden buildings stretching north over a series of hills from Market along Fillmore Street. The address is on Ellis, but Ellis Street stops at one of the sparkling concrete urban-renewal projects neighborhood groups
The Reasons Underlying the Actions of the Black Student Strike Leaders 91 have raised so much protest over, and you have to snake your way around to a battered, three-story structure in the slummiest, blackest part of the Fillmore, where rotting buildings are rapidly being abandoned in the face of the advancing urban renewal. There, hand-crayoned signs direct visitors to the down- stair meeting halls or the upstair tutorial office. One door of the BSU center has been smashed away from its padlocked hasp, and propped shut from the inside with a battered old table. Weather beaten plywood panels cover smashed windows. It is the kind of neighborhood where, in larger cities, whites instinctively lock their car doors as they drive through.
Middle-aged and elderly black men lounge around the signposts and building corners throughout the day, some drunk, others just idle. Toward the middle of the afternoon, one of the city’s largest interracial prostitution operations swings into action, supplying a variety of girls to stroll the side-walks in micro-mini-skirts or tight bell-bottomed pants until well past dawn on some corners, volunteering a variety of services to anyone who does not look like a plainclothesed cop. Continue reading “Preview of Social Matter Post”