chapter  11
17 Pages

Making Reform Fair

The intersection of Franklin and Norris Streets in North Philadelphia looks to be generic American ghetto. There are no trees. Shards of glass crunch underfoot on the concrete. A brown brick elementary school with security-grated windows occupies the northeast corner of the crossings centered in a small sea of asphalt. Across Franklin, a parking lot fills the northwest corner. On the southwest side, a crack house gutted of anything of value has structural timbers falling out its front door. On the southeast corner stands a modest stone church that not long ago underwent repairs to prevent the tower from collapsing. The church looks abandoned, left to die by the flight of whites to the suburbs.1