Silvia Woods died last week. She was called by many who visited her Harlem restaurant “the queen of soul food.”
In 1962 Harlem was not the increasingly gentrified somewhat chic neighborhood it is today. In Harlem 1962 Malcolm X walked the streets of 7th Avenue and 125th streets. There was no Harlem Boys Choir yet. There was no Dance Theater Of Harlem yet. That was all in the future.
Race riots were also in the short term future. By 1964 the riots were all the rage. Harlem was in trouble:
“Statistics from 1940 show about 100 murders per year in Harlem, “but rape is very rare.” By 1950, essentially all of the whites had left Harlem and by 1960, much of the black middle class had departed. At the same time, control of organized crime shifted from Jewish and Italian syndicates to local black, Puerto Rican, and Cuban groups that were somewhat less formally organized. At the time of the 1964 riots, the drug addiction rate in Harlem was ten times higher than the New York City average, and twelve times higher than the United States as a whole. Of the 30,000 drug addicts then estimated to live in New York City, 15,000 to 20,000 lived in Harlem. Property crime was pervasive, and the murder rate was six times higher than New York’s average. Half of the children in Harlem grew up with one parent, or none, and lack of supervision contributed to juvenile delinquency; between 1953 and 1962, the crime rate among young people increased throughout New York City, but was consistently 50% higher in Harlem than in New York City as a whole.”In 1962, in Harlem, Silvia Woods opened her restaurant. Silvia Woods’ restaurant was hampered by a city government that did not work, an infrastructure that did not function much of the time, streets clogged with crime. But through it all, Silvia Woods kept her restaurant:
“She built something out of nothing,” said one person. “She kept her family together.”On August 1, Silvia Woods’ restaurant, built with the help of her husband, will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary but Silvia Woods will not physically be there. Many businesses have died in the past 50 years but not the restaurant built by the South Carolina native in Harlem, in 1962, on Lenox Avenue. The “something out of nothing” she built in the “mean streets” of Harlem 1962 won’t be forgotten.
I don't know why people are so surprised by Barack's statements. Barack never built anything. And what he has was handed to him. So he just assumes everybody else is just the same.
He was handed the presidency, after all. Harry Reid and others drafted him to run and promised they'd take care of 'evil' Hillary Clinton for him. And they did. They savaged that woman and degraded her and trashed her. She got no credit for a life's work. But Barack was given credit for NEVER accomplishing anything.
And so the little spoiled prince assumes everyone else had the same smooth path he did.
To Barack Obama, Silvia Woods is a sucker, doing all that work when all she had to do was sit back and wait for it to happen.
Sherman Hemsley died. I'd be writing about it if it wasn't for the fact that I believe 100% he was gay and he never came out of the closet. So I'll let someone else sing his praises.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"