How the West Side Was Lost | Letters | Chicago Reader

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How the West Side Was Lost


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To the editors:

I have read many many enlightening features and stories in your weekly over the years, but never have I encountered a story that has moved me as much as your August 26, 1988 issue which included "The Night Chicago Burned" and "They Were There."

I moved to Chicago in 1976 (8 years after Dr. King died & thus the riots) and the west side was the first place I lived. I couldn't understand the reasoning behind the lack of commercial business (either black or white) nor the presence of such severe deterioration. I have long since moved from the west side but am still closely associated with the area. Now, as I ride down Madison St. or Roosevelt Rd. or Kedzie or Pulaski and look around I can more fully understand why the area is in and remains in the condition it is in. I also understand the politics behind it. The west side seems to be "the forgotten side."

I obviously have adopted this great city of Chicago as my home and wouldn't trade it for the world but the racism here is beyond belief.

I do believe in my heart that one day Dr. King's dreams will become realities. I only hope I live to see it happen. Thank you again Reader for the phenomenal issue. I plan to keep it for my grandchildren.

Sylena Isaac


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