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Bronzeville Resident’s Rant

By Sharon Morgan

July 2, 2008 – I just want to vent for a minute. I live in Bronzeville. I grew up here during some of its worst days and returned here in the midst of its emergence as Chicago‘s new mecca for the middle class. Now that we have a critical mass of homeowners with discretionary income, the next logical step in the economic development matrix is the creation of a viable business district, restaurants, boutiques, amusements and shopping options.

Lately, I have found some really good stuff right here in my community but am appalled that I don’t see my Bronzeville neighbors beating a path to the doors of the pioneers who are helping imbue our community with economic and social vitality. I hear people bemoaning what we DON’T have but I don’t see that many people supporting what we DO have. We still go north for fun and come back south to sleep.

Going to the Bronzeville Community Market for the last three Sundays in a row is what provoked this rant. Last Sunday, there was also the Lake Meadows Art Fair. Before that it was an event at Little Black Pearl Workshop. None of these events were as well attended as they should have been. At the market, I counted all of 25 people (maybe) at the height of the day. That is a shame!

For this diatribe, I want to focus on the market – and please know that I am not being paid or encouraged by anyone to do this.

It happens every Sunday from 10a.m. to 3p.m. through October 26. Its vendors come from as far away as Indiana, pitch their tents in a greened lot at the corner of 44th & Cottage Grove and play music, sell edibles, natural remedies, clothes, farm fresh produce and flowers – at really good prices.

I want to urge everyone who reads this to take the time to come out and support the market as well as other community activities planned for the summer. The vendors who spend their time and money coming to OUR community can’t stay loyal if we don’t make their efforts worthwhile. If we don’t support them, in due course, these activities will die.

Come on, Bronzeville – we asked for things like this. We need them desperately to make our community come ALIVE. Let’s get out and make it happen!

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