Cabrini-Green Update



Al Carter of Al Carter Youth Foundation, 880 N.Hudson, Dr. Nehemiah Russell of P.E.A.C.E. and Elder Mary Bartley of St. Luke Church, 914 N. Orleans St., were the key leaders in a march of more than 200 Black men of all ages.

The Black men came to Cabrini-Green from various communities across the city to show unity and to oppose demolition at Cabrini-Green.

The men talked about their concerns that African American families will be displaced by the demolition. Russell said this problem is affecting Black families throughout the country.

Another of the marchers’ major concerns is the need for jobs for residents.

The march started at the front entrance of 911 N. Hudson Ave. I spoke to Mary Coleman, a resident of Cabrini for 45 years.

“They’re coming into the development tearing down and rebuilding but they refuse to hire the Black Men from the development,” she said.

As we were marching, one young man told me, “We’re all related to someone. We’re your sons

brothers, uncles even fathers. Everyone should be given a chance to prove himself.

“This march is to show that even with differences of opinion, we can stand and come together to make sure our African American women and children don’t become homeless.”

The march proceeded to a construction site on Sedgwick Street where market-rate housing is being built. As we approached the site, someone shouted, “Where are the Black Men?”

After standing there for a short time, finally this one Black worker appeared. The workers began shouting for the marchers to get out of there.

The marchers shouted back, “Put us out.”

The marchers started to head back to Cabrini-Green. About six police cars showed up and stationed themselves at various points along the march route. But the police officers didn’t come to march. People from the buildings joined the march as they proceeded down Cabrini-Green streets. Dr. Russell said, “They will build moreprisons instead of housing for poor families.”

I asked Al Carter if other community leaders were invited. “Yes,” he said. “The alderman and other community leaders (were invited) but declined. We plan to march once a month until there’s no more displacement and jobs for the community.”


Students at St. Joseph’s School, 1065 N. Orleans St., one of the schools servicing families of Cabrini-Green, had six students who were involved in the Corporate Arts program. This program is designed for schools where there is no art teacher. Students worked in this program for five years. They learned how to lay and break tile. The hard work paid off; the students received a donation of $1,500.00 and they produced a Mosaic Mural.

The students are:

1.Arron Armstrong

2.Terran Russell

3.Bennie Sisson

4.Herbert Smith

5.Derrick Warren

6.Temtest Wessley

So take some time and walk over or drive by the school to see this beautiful mural on the school’s outside wall facing Orleans Street.

The mosaic created by the students at the St. Joseph's School. Photo by Cecelia A. Clark.


The Local Advisory Council office was the setting for the presentation of a $1,000 check to Zater Bolhar, Girl X’s grandmother.

The check was donated by the American General Insurance Company. American General’s representative in Cabrini-Green, Elijah Blackamore, said the check will be deposited into the Wordsong Girl X Fund, Illinois Service Federal Bank, 4619 S. Martin Luther King Drive.

I also asked Girl X’s grandmother how the little girl is doing.

“She is out of the hospital. She’s been home for a while. She will be going to a rehabilitation facility where she will be staying,” Zater said. “She will also be attending school in the near future.”

Zater expressed her appreciation of the check on behalf of Girl X.

I had a telephone conversation with Marv Dyson, president of WGCI Radio. I asked Marv to give me an update on the Girl X Fund.

He said, “There’s about $400,000.

American General Insurance Company representative Elijah Blackamore presents Zater Bolhar, Girl X's grandmother, with a $1,000 check. Photo by Cecelia A. Clark.


The person accused in the attack on Girl X appeared in court on June 20 and his next court appearance is on Sept. 2, according to a spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

Sykes’ attorney asked the court for this long continuance and the judge granted the request.


A meeting was held at 862 N. Sedgwick on the south end of Cabrini today. This mid-rise building, which stands seven stories high, will

become one of the new security pilot program buildings along with 624 W. Division, a 16-story white building. The Rowhouses, low-rise two-story duplex apartments, are also included in this program.

With this plan, the entire building will be enclosed by black iron gates around the entire building with the two playgrounds at both exits in the rear of the building also included.

Residents who attended the meeting wanted to know why their building was chosen. Chicago Housing Authority Police Department Commander Franklin Tykes and Lionel Gordon presented the plans for this program. (Continued on page #)

(Continued from page #) In response to questions from residents, Tykes said 862 N. Sedgwick wasn’t chosen for the security plan because it is a “worse” building. 862 N. Sedgwick and the other buildings selected for the security program were selected in a meeting of CHA departments along with CHA Police Chief Leroy O’Shield.

Residents wanted to know what will make this program work where others have failed. Gordon said, “This is designed to keep people out that don’t live here.”

All residents will have to use the front entrance, even families who live on the first floor who until now did not have to use the main entrances. Residents told Tykes that they don’t want CHA police officers stationed in their building because they don’t have respect for the residents.

Gertie Smith, CHA Area Manager for the Cabrini-Green area, said, “CHA Police will be attending a training program for those purposes.”

One resident wanted to know what the policy will be for visitors. Smith said, “Anyone visiting longer than two weeks needs to let CHA know.”

Another resident wanted to know what they could do to stop this plan. Tykes told this resident, “This is not a choice but a reality.” Tykes said that residents at other developments where the security plan has been installed are happy with it.


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