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The Chicago star. (Chicago, Ill.) 1946-1948, August 21, 1948, Star Edition, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87062321/1948-08-21/ed-1/seq-2/

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The truth behind N.Y.
Life's S. Side land grab
2
By OSCAR BROWN
Big business has long and
often displayed a brutal read
iness to overlook the needs
of the people in its mad
scramble for profits, but it
has seldom been as obvious
in demonstrating this readi
ness as in recent weeks.
I refer particularly to the
little steal deal dreamed up
by the New York Life Insur
ance Co. against the people
living in the area between
31st and 33rd sts., South
Parkway and the Illinois
Central tracks.
Abetted by Mayor Kennelly
and his racist advisors, this
The author
OSCAR BROWN is Progres
sive Party candidate for slate
representative from the Ist
senatorial district. Son of the
president of the Chicago Ne
gro Chamber of Commerce,
Brown has been a radio an
nouncer and actor. Now a
news commentator, his broad
casts can be heard at 7 a-m.
Monday through Friday over
WJJD.
“benevolent” insurance company,
with typical public spiritedness,
has devised a nifty scheme for
throwing several hundreds of Ne
gro families into the street, tear
ing down the existing property
building new modern apartments
and then renting these apart
ments to folks who wil pay a
rate of rent much more profit
able to the insurance company
and nearly everyone concerned,
except the general public.
* * *
BRIEFLY, the deal works this
way: The land and buildings on
it will be bought with state and
city funds, provided by the taxes
you pay, under the right of em
inent domain-
The state and city will then
undertake the expense of tearing
down all existing structures, and
when the mass demolition is
completed, the land, estimated in
value at around $3 per square
foot, will be sold to the New
York Life Insurance Co. for just
50 cents per square foot.
The insurance boys will then
construct lovely apartments that
will rent from $75 up and live
happily ever after.
* * *
NOW, I certainly don’t claim
that there is no need for im
provement in the neighborhood
under discussion.
It’s my neighborhood. I see it
every day.
I’ll agree whole heartedly with
anyone who makes the obvious
observation that very many of
THE CHICAGO STAR, AUGUST 21, 1948
1 '
The Chicago
J** ~ rr -' ,
b CWIieS —l l,l puDnsned WEEKLY
by The Chicago Star Publishing
Co., Inc., 166 West Washington
Street, Chicago 2. lIL Phone
RANdolph 0580.
Cable address: Chistar
Frank M. DavU Executive Editor
Carl Hindi Managing Editor
William Sannatt Canaral Manager
SUBSCRIPTION RATES
(Except Canada
and foreign) 1 Year $2.00.
Entered as second class matter
June 25, 1946 at the post office at
Chicago, 111., under the Act of
March 3. 1879.
Postal regulations require that
all new subscriptions for military
personnel stationed overseas must
be accompanied by a written
request from the person to whom
the subscription is directed.
/ I ; I
NEGROES VOTE for firsl lime in 78 Yean in South Carolina'* Demo
cratic primary. V. S. District Court recently ruled white primary
illegal.
the buildings should be torn
down-
The building of new modern
dwellings would make the dif
ference between the blighted
slum area that now exists, and
an attractive neighborhood, but
I cannot agree that the only way
to bring about these improve
ments is to commit the many in
justices included in the present
proposals for the area.
* * •
THESE INJUSTICES can be
best explained if the residents,
for the sake of discussion, are
divided into three separate cate
gories.
The first group is the prop
erty owners group.'
Here justified objection stems
from the fact that their property
will be bought from them at
prices fixed by a jury, which at
best will not be sufficient for
them to rebuild anywhere, at the
present cost of land and con
struction.
Therefore, people who’ve
worked a good part of their lives
to acquire a piece of property
will find themselves out of land,
out of lucre, and as far as any
one around City Halls seems con
cerned, out of luck.
The security and comfort of
owning their own homes, which
they’ve worked to gain and main
tain all theft-lives, will suddenly
be denied them.
* » *
THE NEXT GROUP consti
tutes 40% of the residents of the
area-
YPA opens drive
to repeal draft
Giant cardboard pens, 5V4 feet
tall and 3 feet wide, were dis
played at more than a dozen
spots throughout the city this
week as Young Progressives of
America launched their drive to
repeal the draft, and end Jim
Crow in the armed forces.
The pens, on which the signa
tures of petitioners were in
scribed, bore legends such as
"Use This to Write an Order
Wiping Out Jim Crow in the
Army, Mr- Truman.”
At the same time some 10,000
leaflets were distributed at shop
gates and in various neighbor
hoods by YPA members.
These are the folks whose low
incomes prevent their moving
into any dwelling where the
rental is $75 a month, but who
for one reason or another are
ineligible for low cost housing.
Today, when housing is scarce,
when high rentals and padded
bonuses are required of all who
want apartments, these people
are offered nothing to meet the
critical need that will be forced
upon them when the city buys
their present dwellings, and no
tifies them that they’ll have to
move.
* * *
FNIALLY, there are the low
income families.
To throw them out of their
sub-standard homes into other
homes that are already, or soon
will become sub-standard for the
simple reason that it takes money
to maintain property, and these
aren’t monied people, is the most
ridiculous conception of “slum
clearance” ever foisted off on the
gullible public.
What the gentlemen of New
York Life and of our city gov-
Music of the Ukraine
on Chicago's W. Side!
The music is too big for the
small hall. It bursts high and
strong from the 30 pairs of
workers’ lungs. It rushes out
through the windows, and
people strolling past People’s
Auditorium at 2457 W. Chicago
av., carry the music home with
them in their heads.
The neighborhood folks look
forward to these Thursday
nights, when Ukranian folk
songs like “Susidka” (Neigh
bor) and “Zaspivaj Nam Vitre”
(Singing Winds)—reach out to
them from the hall on the third
floor of People’s Auditorium.
They can all tell you that
Thursday is the regular meet
ing night of the chorus and
dancing group of the Ukranian
American Fraternal Union,
IWO. And they all know there’s
something special afoot in the
ernment propose is not to abolish
the slums, but to simply relocate
them in some other section of
the city in order that they may
reap their profits from the very
desirable land on which other
big business men are at present
maintaining their ghetto.
* * ♦
IN FIGHTING this proposed
redevelopment for the 31st st.
area, and of aH subsequent
schemes, the protest may come
from various economic levels,
but the fight, if it is to be an
adequate fight, must be a united
struggle of all people regardless
of interests, of race, or of in
come, against a common oppres
sion-
It’s a fight that requires not
only loud protest from every cit
izen, individually, but the sort
of unified voice that can be
raised only with political power.
'Call special session on
housing, prices'—Oakes
SPRINGFIELD— Grant Oakes,
Progressive candidate for gover
nor, this week demanded that
PP to talk
at city meet
on housing
At 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug.
23, the Housing Committee of
the City Council will hold an
open hearing in Council cham
bers to discuss and reject or ap
prove the present nine sites pro
posed for Chicago’s relocation
housing program.
At the Monday hearing, Pro
gressive Party of Illinois will de
mand time to speak on the pro
posed sites.
The president of the Public
Housing Assn-, Elmer Gertz, has
classified these sites as “largely
bad” and has stated that only
after having been “worn out by
the overwhelming pressure ex
erted upon them” did the Chi
cago Housing Authority agree to
them.
Four previous* selections for
housing sites were turned down
by the Mayor and Council be
cause property-owners’ associa
tions expressed “fear” that Ne
groes woud be given homes in
their areas.
group these Thursday nights...
The music is getting better.
“We’re preparing for our first
national folk festival,” Ray An
drews tells the people when
they ask. “We have a fine di
rector for the chorus here from
New York to rehearse us. You
can see a great improvement in
our work.”
* * *
RAY ANDREWS. 34, of 1719
N. Albany, is probably an av
erage member of the Ukranian
chorus. A UE-CIO, Local 1114
shop steward ana inspector at
Miehle Printing Press Mfg. Co.,
Ray has sat in the bass section
of the chorus—and directed its
mandolin orchestra—since 1940.
Born in the states of Ukranian
parentage, the folk songs of his
parents are a part of him.
“Years ago I played Ukranian
music on the violin,” Ray says,
Rfr %v ' jHpyjH
NEW Secretary of Labor, pend
ing Senate confirmation, will be
Maurice J. Tobin, former gover
nor of Massachusetts, who suc
ceeds the late Lewis B. Schwel
lenbach.
Gov. Green call a special session
of the state legislature "to meet
the housing crisis.”
The General Assembly, Oakes
pointed out in his address at the
State Fair on Progressive Party
Day, “can stop evictions.” It can
authorize local authorities to im
pose rent ceilings and “can fi
nance and program the building
of additional homes.”
Moreover, he declared, it “can
act to lower prices” by checking
“the extortionate profits charged
by middlemen who today
squeeze producers on the farms
and consumers in the cities ”
Oakes is president of the
United Farm Equipmen* & Metal
Workers of America (CIO).
Italo-Americans
for Wallace
A1 Verri, temporary chairman
of Chicago’s Italian-Americans
for Wallace Committee, this week
sent out a call in the name of the
20-man provisional committee,
urging progressive voters of Ital
ian descent to attend the first
meeting of the group next Sun
day, Aug. 22, at 2:30 p.m. in the
Midland Hotel, 172 W. Adams.
There are more than 300,000 Ital
ian-Americans in the Chicago
area.
“and the music has never es
caped me.”
* * *
UNDER the direction of Mrs.
Sophie Warame, the chorus
holds concerts once a month in
People’s Auditorium. On these
special occasions, the women
wear flowery hats with long
ribbons down their backs, color
ful embroidered blouses and
skirts; the men wear white
bio u-s e s with embroidered
fronts, boots and full, blousey
trousers.
The costumes will be donned
for the first Ukrainian National
Folk Festival at Carmen Hall
(Ashland Auditorium), Satur
day, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m., when
choruses, dance groups, and or
chestras in the Ukrainian IWO
will come here from all parts
of the country, bringing us the
culture of their fathers.

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