Interview with Bernard Lafayette


Black folks don't create slums. Because they don't have the power to make decisions about where they live. And it's not the fact that they, they want to live in Marquette Park, you know, with White people, they want to live everywhere and have the opportunity to be free and to have the same kind of opportunities that anyone has. And the problem with the slums is the fact that they are limited in terms of where they can live and therefore they pay, ah, more for housing and have less quality. And what, ah, we were demanding in the Marquette situation as well as other places here in Chicago, was that people would have the same kind of freedom guaranteed them by the Constitution, that segregation in housing is no different from segregation in schools and segregation at the voting polls. And the thing is that, ah, if, the reason why we have slum is because Black people do not have the power. If they had the power, they would not live in slums and wouldn't create the, wouldn't be, you know, the kind of conditions that we see in the community. And the fact that, ah, those in power are those that are responsible for the creation of the slums.