Public housing. I did not grow up living in public housing but, I have the memories just the same. When I was younger, public housing had stigma. It was full of crime and poverty. We were not supposed to go to the “Projects”.
At the same time, I got a job at the Robert Taylor Boys and Girls Club working for Ken Dunkin who was not yet a politician. Right near 55th and Federal. (For my out of town readers The Robert Taylor Homes was where this particular Boys and Girls Club was located). At the Club was where I also met, Torre Torrey and she gave me her demo. (Years later she sang a chorus for Kanye West). I started publishing my poetry on poetics and politics.com in addition to my day job.
Ken Dunkin marched and did activism for public housing. I was making beats and struggling with my website.
He decided to run for public office, I decided to go work for a start-up.
I realized that I needed to learn how to do production and decided to go back to school and study multimedia production.
One of my relatives is part of a documentary video production team that did work on a video about public housing. I got to look at the B roll. I saw images of Cabrini Green. There were ratholes and trash. It was a scene out of a horror movie.
The work was so compelling that they went and documented the “projects” in other cities. I submitted music for the soundrack.
A couple of years later, as outcry over the squalid conditions of the “Projects” became more visible, my city decided to tear down the “Projects” for a plan that favored mixed income housing.
Soon after, I ran into State Representative Ken Dunkin at my cousin’s dance recital.