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The Truth About Philadelphia
Program 1

Barbara Daniel Cox
Community Facilitator North, Philadelphia

Question #4: In what ways is the city of Philadelphia hurting the most? What are the physical places in the city that are hurting the most? What needs to happen so that healing can take place?

Barbara: Well, umm, I think, uh, our biggest problems are drugs, violence, homelessness, and unemployment. Umm, I think probably because I work in North Philadelphia and have done so for the last two years and I see so much of it, I see North Philadelphia as being the most devastated area. The, umm, so much dilapidated housing is here, umm, that it's just unbelievable that nothing has been done about it. And while there are some new developments, I think that it is, it is too little, it's taking too long to get it done, and I think there's not enough being done.
Umm, uh, I think the other big problem that we have in this city is racism. And I guess the, probably the biggest, most recent incident was South Philadelphia. And, uh, I think that that put a big scar on our, our city. Uh, I think it will remain for a while. And while there have been moves at ecumenical services and ecumenical meetings, I think not enough has been done with the people.
And when you talk about what needs to be done to heal, umm, I'm not sure of the answer. There's needs to be some, some intergroup education, some human-relations training, and probably some kinds of activities that bring people together in non-threatening settings where no one is, there are no big I's and little you's, where everyone is equal and they have a time to relax. I remember one of the scenes that I saw on TV, umm, after the demonstration or rally, whichever it was, was a picture of black and white kids playing in the playground. And I think that that was cute and I think it was nice, but I bet that that's probably the only time that that happened. You know, I, I think that there needs to be, uh, no places that are off limits for anyone. I think people should be able to live where they want to live as long as they can afford to pay their bills.
Uh, and I think that, and, and, and it's hard. How do you help people begin to believe that I'm not better than anybody else? We're all human. Uh, we're all God's creation. Umm, we're created equal. And while some of us might make more money than others, some of us might have bigger positions, we're all the same. We put on our clothes the same way. We go to the bathroom the same way.

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