Philly War Zone: Growing Up in a Racial Battleground

Category: Americas
Author: Kevin Purcell
This Month Reddit 4


by SandysonLocust   2019-11-17

That kinda ignores how white West Philly was until the late 1960s when the police started turning a blind eye to black crime and white people got violently ethnically cleansed from their traditional neighborhoods by black gangs of teenagers.

“Philly War Zone: Growing Up in a Racial Battleground” is a great memoir about this time & many of the reviews back up the author’s story.

by SandysonLocust   2019-11-17

So the book in question that I linked is:

If you read the comments you’ll see that many if the reviewers agree with Purcell’s take on the situation and give their own experiences with violent intimidation at the time.

This blog post has plenty of relevant excerpts from the book:

The most relevant:

“Even though all the black kids were still out on our front porch, Mom unlocked the front door and opened the storm door just wide enough to yell, “Get the hell out of here.” As soon as those words left her mouth, I saw a fist burst through the slightly opened storm door and make contact with the right side of Mom’s face.

Thank God the kid’s fist also hit part of the storm door, breaking the impact of the punch just enough so that Mom wasn’t seriously hurt. She was sore, but not nearly as sore as she would have been had the punch landed squarely. We got Mom out of the way, and the six of us kept pushing and pushing at the door until we finally got it shut and locked again. I’d never felt such a terrible combination of anger and helplessness.

Someone had just punched my mom in the face in our own house, and there was nothing I could do about it. The black kids on the porch were still trying to force their way in. If we had a gun in our house, I would have begun shooting out onto our front porch until I was out of bullets. As soon as the black kids heard police sirens getting closer, they took off running.”

Would you have stuck around in that neighborhood?