Stories about life in Liddonfield housing project and its impact on the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood of Upper Holmesburg. These true stories reveal how government policy affected the lives of real people, from the project residents to area homeowners during the 5 decades of Liddonfield’s existence. Stories and articles are written by a former resident of the project.


Rosemary Reeves, Blogger, standing on Philadelphia Skyline

Mar 19, 2012

Race in Liddonfield Housing Project

Featured Comment of the Week of March 19, 2012

Comment: There's an undercurrent of race throughout your blog. I'm wondering how you, the daughter of a poor white family from the projects, feel about the upcoming affirmative action case that will be heard by the Supreme Court this session (Fisher v. The University of Texas.) You mentioned your brothers. They grew up poor too. Should they continue to be on the losing end of racial preferences?  I'd really be fascinated to hear your views on this issue. 

Response from BloggerIt is impossible to separate the history of Liddonfield Housing Project from the history of race relations in Upper Holmesburg, so there is indeed an undercurrent of race throughout the blog.  But that was not always so.  It was only after people kept asking me about blacks in Liddonfield that it became clear there were many unanswered questions concerning race in the project and this was something the public wanted to know more about.  These were honest questions put to me out of curiosity and a genuine desire to understand the changes that took place in the project over time as it evolved from a predominantly white public housing development to a predominantly black one.  Race is touched upon in the Video History of Liddonfield Housing Project series on this blog, but much more ground needs to be covered.  There will be more about race in Liddonfield in future posts.

My family moved out of Liddonfield in 1967, before the change in racial demographics.  As a young adult, I resided in white areas.  However, I have lived in a predominantly black neighborhood by choice for the past twelve years.  I found the neighborhood I reside in today by accident, having seen an ad in the paper for a spacious apartment in an area I had never been to.  It’s a nice place to live, with well kept detached houses dotting the streets and dogwood trees that bloom in the spring.  The population is mainly African American and mainly middle-class.  My point is that all around me are black people who have succeeded on their own.  I am certain very few of them, if any, needed affirmative action to earn their rightful place within the ranks of the middle-class.  In addition, no one should be denied a college education solely based on their race.  Poor white kids and poor black kids should not be pitted against each other for a university degree.  Above all other institutions, universities have a duty to be color-blind.


  1. I know you won't post links to other pages on your blog, so I won't provide one. However, you might be interested in a new study conducted by the Chicago Housing Authority which found that neighborhoods with CHA Section 8 relocations experienced significantly higher rates of crime than the rest of the city during the study period of 2000 to 2008. You can read about it in the Chicago Sun-Times. Remember, this is CHA's own study, and they would much rather have seen different results.

    People hate Section 8 vouchers because the people holding them bring violent crime into their neighborhoods. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

    1. This has made featured comment of the week. A detailed response will be posted as an article on April 16, 2012. Thanks for commenting.


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