|The neighborhoods of the south side in 1919. The borders were sharply drawn as black and white workers competed for jobs in the packing houses and factories.|
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. YeatsThat's my favorite quote from my favorite Irish poet. This morning, we're trying to keep the fire burning while as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. We're doing our Klonsky Brothers radio show as always, live from the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. It's a great day to talk about politics in our city of immigrants, labor battles, and the birthplace of neighborhood community organizing.
Going back to the 1830s, Bridgeport has been an enclave of the city's huge Irish working-class immigrant population and the power base for five Chicago mayors. The Daley family whose political machine, built on racism and patronage, ran the city out of the 11th Ward, for more than half a century.
It was here that as a young man, former Mayor Richard J. Daley ran with the notorious, racist Hamburg Gang that terrorized the black community and other newly-arrived immigrants, and was active in the deadly 1919 race riots.
|William Butler Yeats|
Over the years, the more affluent "lace curtain" Irish began to move south to Morgan Park while Bridgeport has in recent years, become much more diverse with many Mexican immigrant families settling here along with younger white middle-class techies, artists and professionals.
While former Mayor Richard M. Daley left and headed to Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Bridgeport: