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The Truth About Philadelphia

Wilfredo Rojas
Social Worker Supervisor, North Philadelphia

Question #2 If you were to create a film titled The Truth About Philadelphia, what would it be about?

Glenn: The working title for our film is called "The Truth About Philadelphia." If you were going to be making a film with that title, what would you, what would it be about?

Wilfredo: I think Philadelphia is a very vibrant City. I think that there's a lot of, uh, good in Philadelphia. And the only thing is that I think that we have to begin to incorporate all of the different new groups that are coming to Philadelphia like the large growing Asian community and the largely growing Latino community in the City. I think Philadelphia has been through a, through many changes. Uh, you have a very, very, very vibrant and, uh, growing, uh, open and gay, lesbian community that wasn't evident before, as well as a growing, uh, child of the '60s. And they have, umm, uh, really come to Philadelphia. And I think that it's moving more towards being a City where people are being accepted. Whereas before, you had these pockets where what prevailed was deep rooted racism. And you still have 'em today, like in the, in the Gray's Ferry. But I think that we're beginning to realize that by working against one another, it doesn't promote the City. And I think the people in the City are beginning to realize that there's enough here for all of us if we all pull together.

Uh, one of the, one of the, the things that I would include in the history about Philadelphia is the fact that as Latinos, we have made a significant contribution to the City of Philadelphia. We took the jobs that no one else wanted when we came here. Uh, we worked the fields of, of New Jersey when the African Americans had all but abandoned farm labor work and moved into light industry. We followed the African Americans into the light industry trade. Uh, and we followed them into the restaurant business. And all those jobs, as people graduated into better paying jobs, we inherited those lower paying jobs. And the truth about Philadelphia is that it was a working class City. Uh, and across the nation, it's a, it's a City where you have strong trade union movement but, again, the Latino community really hasn't been, uh, blanketed in terms of, uh, their active participation in trade unions. And also the whole issue of language, uh, uh. English continues to be the dominant language in conducting business in the City. Although if you go into a barrio, the majority of the people of Latino dissent speak Spanish.

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