Transcript of talk from Lines Between Us event

October 4, 2018 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

 

I’m Lawrence Lanahan – senior producer for MD Morning and the project leader for The Lines Between Us. Thanks for coming.

Of all the work we’ve done, I think Uncle Joe’s story most clearly illustrates the deep structural and historical roots of the lines between us, of the landscape of inequality particular to our region. He did everything right–fought in World War II, came back and got a job and bought a house with the GI bill. Even took a chance buying in what was still a mostly white neighborhood. But because he was black, the new suburbs weren’t open to him. He bought in the best place that he could.

3And his house simply didn’t appreciate the way the suburbs did, so when it came time for assisted living, his family had to scramble, putting in some of their wealth to compensate for the wealth that never materialized for him through his house. There is a substantial wealth gap in this country by race, built by inequality in housing and economic opportunity. It widened further after the financial crisis of 2008.

Uncle Joe died a week ago, in the morning last Thursday. His great-niece Dominique sent me this picture, taken a week before that. She says his family and friends did get to come by and see him and tell him they loved him. Dominique couldn’t make it tonight, but I want to thank her for sharing Uncle Joe’s story.

GIBill

The GI Bill that Isaac Joseph Bacon used to buy a house in Mondawmin.

Tonight we’ll have two panel discussions, with a similar theme. Now that series has tried to lay out what inequality looks like in our region and what’s driving it, what tools do local, state, and federal government have to try and dismantle it?

Sheilah’s going to talk to Nikole Hannah-Jones, an award-winning civil rights reporter at ProPublica, and Megan Haberle, an attorney with the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. Tom’s going to talk to Lisa Garry from Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services and Lisa Williams from Baltimore County Public Schools.

There will be Q&A at the end.

Throughout the evening, we’re going to share some highlights from the series, particularly some videos we’ve made. First, I’d like to bring up Seema Iyer from the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at the University of Baltimore. We partnered with BNIA to be able to publish data maps that illustrate inequality in the region.

BNIA compiled all the maps into one interactive feature, so I’ll let Seema show you that and tell you how this data can be useful to neighborhoods.

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Mondawmin in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries The Future: Without a Bachelor’s Degree

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NEWS
- A much prettier website with my journalistic highlights is at lawrencelanahan.com.
- Disappearing Ink released its first album, "There Is No Time and Nothing's Been," in December 2014. It's available on iTunes.
- After almost five years at WYPR, I'm back to freelancing. Editors can reach me at llanahan@gmail.com.
- The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life includes my chapter "New Possibilities and Old Limitations of Political Art in The Wire."
- You can still buy my 2004 self-titled EP.

ACADEMIC EXPLOITS
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