Let’s put it this way: the prominent local headlines in Chicago’s daily newspapers note that nearly a thousand Chicago Public School employees have been laid off, including 365 educators. A subsequent headline reminds readers that the Chicago Police Department has bolstered its ranks by a hundred. This ought to be cause for concern as it demonstrates the continued allegiance our city’s officials have for policing its citizens over educating them. Moreover, it coincides with a fundamentally illogical pattern of tracking deviance, where the source of a problem is frequently disregarded in favor of reacting to its consequences. As it was in Detroit and Ferguson, so it will be in Chicago.
Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’ Whose Streets? opens with two men driving through Ferguson, Missouri’s most destitute neighborhoods. They roam an enclave of the most disenfranchised, where a generation of children cannot read in part because the preceding one doesn’t know how to either. What Whose Streets? posits in a series of textured, unflinching, and captivating episodes is how a deprived community misrepresented by its servants and stripped of its agency attempted to take back their home on August, 9, 2013. What comes of this, regardless of the simplistic polemic of White v. Black, Have v. Have Nots, and Good v. Evil presented by various mainstream media outlets of the time, is a complicated look into what converted a small city in Missouri’s St. Louis District into a warzone.Read More