The Sun-Times begins a series on Chatham

Several years ago Barry Pearce and I sat down with the late Dempsey Travis, one of Chicago’s most accomplished citizens, for a wide-ranging discussion. In the above video we talked about his home community, Chatham.

Chatham was the crown jewel of Chicago’s African-American community, a carefully manicured, obsessively maintained, aspirational home to middle- and upper-middle class South Siders. It was a “community of excellence.”

In the first part of a three-part series, the Sun-Times reports on a changing Chatham:

It’s not just the crime. Mixed in among the well-kept homes with their manicured lawns, there are untended yards and houses left empty as a result of the tattered economy. Chatham is no longer the haven for the black middle class that it was not so long ago.

When a community as solid as Chatham recently was can begin to unravel, what are the implications for Chicago’s South Side and the health of the city as a whole?

See more video and photos at our Chatham neighborhood page.

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