Featured Book Review
THE FALL AND RISE
OF THE SOUTH BRONX
This look back at the successes and missteps of the Banana Kelly Community Development Association offers lessons for community organizers everywhere.
By Roberta Brandes Gratz
The Concept of Community: Lessons from the Bronx, by Harold DeRienzo, IPOCPress, $38.
Visiting the Longwood-Hunts Point neighborhood in the South Bronx today, it's hard to remember that only 30 years ago it looked like Dresden after the bombing, with abandonment the dominant characteristic. Today, a mix of new and old three- to eight-story apartment houses lines Kelly, Fox, Beck and Dawson Streets and Prospect Avenue. A once-empty school houses the thriving Banana Kelly High School, a lush green park is filled with trees showing solid age, and well-used playing fields occupy a vast space where rubble once dominated. The number of local businesses is increasing. Developer-built infill housing is scattered around. A beautifully restored elevated subway station anchors the district. And an ethnically and economically diverse population proudly calls the area home, a far cry from the day when departure was a universal goal.
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