Line in the sand
By James B. Miller
I am all for the beautification and natural progression of reconstruction in the historic Black District of 6 Street AKA Sistrunk Blvd. But, my problem lies with the passive aggressiveness of the act.
The complacent sits and quietly complains in small congregations of friends, yet remain silent in the face of the powers that be. We must realize that contentment is a step backwards.
What is done is only that which is allowed. If the best interest of the generations of residents of sis Strong Boulevard was at heart, this would be a wonderful gesture from the city of Fort Lauderdale. But, sadly that’s not the case. We are caught in the middle of a major landgrab. Our history is being snatched from us right before our eyes, and we sit idle as a man sitting on death row waiting for his eventual fate. When does it become important to us? Is it when you receive a three months’ notice informing you that you must move or do you as homeowners feel less affected by the contents of your environment? But, contrary to your belief, you will be greatly affected. Either by tax hikes, policy or eminent domain – why wait? Why not draw a line in the sand now? Don’t be disillusioned by the token of thoughtfulness of the prospect of the new YMCA/Mizell Community Center (which is well deserving), but it’s a fruit to defocus you from the other actualities that are going on around you. The residents of Sistrunk are sitting on a gold mine and don’t even know it. With the proximity to downtown that Fort Lauderdale Beach and I 95 are, it’s a dream of convenience that holds value by the visions of others, (not us).
It will be a sad day to watch the homes of your mother and father, you along with brothers and sisters, your kids, friends and neighbors grew up in torn down right in your face. Tears don’t stop demolition. There has been very little seed about the affordable low income and senior housing. Now we must decide where do we go from here, and most importantly where do we draw the line? What’s at heart is our people who have put the time in as a part of the American workforce and now live on a fixed income who live day to day, month to month. It’s virtually impossible to think that they will be able to afford an increase of $800/$1000 of rental a month. What are they supposed to do? Answer: Fight! Because there’s no place like home!