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Profs & Pints: Enclave of Black Hope
May 6, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0$2 – $12
Profs and Pints presents: “Enclave of Black Hope,” a portrait of striving and success in a segregated, planned community, with John Morris, former professor of constitutional law at Sojourner Douglass College and Stevenson University, and Linda Morris, author of Cherry Hill: Raising Successful Black Children in Jim Crow Baltimore.
Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood was the creation of both New Deal housing programs and a segregated America. Built by the federal government to accommodate returning black World War II veterans and help alleviate the shortage of black housing there and in other cities, it sat on land deemed unsuitable for human habitation, near a city dump, incinerator, and potter’s field on the city’s southeastern Peninsula. It included both privately owned houses and a public housing project, Cherry Hill Homes.
Despite Cherry Hill’s troubling origins, many who grew up there from 1945 through 1965 viewed their childhoods in that planned community as idyllic. In a book written by Linda Morris, sixty first-generation children of Cherry Hill fondly recalled excelling in the brand-new schools built specifically for their community, enjoying proximity to stores in the community’s own shopping center, and feeling insulated from the slights they might experience beyond the community’s borders. Among the many success stories that began there were people who went on to be a Clinton speechwriter, an Obama ambassador, a NASA scientist, and the U.S. Senate’s current chaplain.
Cherry Hill eventually fell victim to neglect and became known as one of Baltimore City’s most dangerous neighborhoods. More recently, however, the city’s police have teamed up with the Justice Department to help reduce its gang violence, and it has experienced somewhat of a revival, with the construction of new public schools and gentrification at its edges.
Come hear two children of Cherry Hill–Linda Morris and her brother John, who contributed her book’s demographic analysis–offer the long view on life in an urban community. In a talk that will offer insights to educators, urban planners, students of modern American history, and anyone concerned with the well-being of all Americans, they’ll discuss the lessons that Cherry Hill’s story offers those currently seeking to revitalize cities for multicultural habitation. (Advance tickets: $12. Door: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk begins 30 minutes later. Allow yourself adequate time to place any orders and get seated and situated.)
Advance tickets available at https://profspintscherryhilltalk.brownpapertickets.com