[Robert Taylor Homes laundromat]

Interviews with residents of the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, recorded while they do their laundry.

00:04Copy video clip URL Technical difficulties. Sound and image from broadcast TV shows, with the interviews conducted for the tape faintly audible. 

01:17Copy video clip URL Interviewer Carl Mitchell speaks with a woman about her children, one of whom is a teacher at Chicago Vocational High School and another who is a teacher in Charleston, IL. She’s also raised a granddaughter who is a nurse and another son. 

01:45Copy video clip URL Problems with rats and roaches in the buildings. The woman says that she hasn’t had any problems getting exterminators to come promptly when she’s had rats. She also says that she’s never had any problems from the police. Mitchell voices disbelief that he’s not had any trouble from police officers. 

03:29Copy video clip URL Another interviewer speaks with two small children, James and Kim. James likes living in the Robert Taylor Homes because he has lots of friends – he has five friends, he says, and when they’re together they play football and talk. Kim doesn’t like it because there are boys that beat her up. She doesn’t like Farren Elementary, she says, because “it’s nasty and dirty and has a lot of mice.” James says that he likes mice and that he eats them. Both kids giggle. 

05:40Copy video clip URL Mitchell interviews Philip Bennet, who’s been living there for a year. His time there has been a mixed bag. He’s scared coming home at night sometimes. He believes that the police do treat residents of Robert Taylor more harshly because of where they live, but he hasn’t personally experienced any harassment. 

06:47Copy video clip URL Mitchell speaks with Anthony Smith, a very well dressed teenager who’s lived there for seven years. He talks about being harassed, arrested, and beaten by police officers. He talks about DuSable High School being a very nice school. 

09:09Copy video clip URL Mitchell speaks with Janet Smith, another young person. She talks about people at Robert Taylor Homes being friendly. DuSable HS, she says, is a good school but there are kids there who cause trouble and there’s an antagonistic attitude from teachers. She talks residents trying to steal their money and fight them when they first moved into Robert Taylor Homes and about girls who gossip behind their friends’ backs. Mitchell asks her about togetherness and community but Smith doesn’t believe there is any. She talks about most residents receiving aid. She worries about being in the halls or the elevator late night. 

12:44Copy video clip URL Smith talks about getting shot by a stray bullet when she was 12. 

13:22Copy video clip URL Footage of residents waiting for their laundry. 

13:58Copy video clip URL End of tape. 



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