“Redlined”, a memoir by Linda Gartz

Many of us have a vague idea of redlining, Chicago’s racist lending rules that refused mortgages to anyone living in neighborhoods with even one Black resident. Linda Gartz’s parents, Fred and Lil chose to stay in their integrating neighborhood in the ‘50s and ‘60s overcoming prejudices and forming relationships with their new Black neighbors. As their landscape sank into devastation, so did their marriage. Linda’s memoir delves into personal and political archives to tell her coming of age story against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and the turbulent fracturing of her redlined community. 

Join us as Linda Gartz recounts her experience and outlines Chicago’s continuing housing crisis. There will be time for Q&A.

Thursday, August 20, 2:00-3:00 pm (Central Time)

Register in advance:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Linda Gartz: Six-time Emmy-honored Linda Gartz is a documentary producer. Her documentaries and TV productions have been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and Investigation Discovery, syndicated nation-wide. Her educational videos include Begin with Love, hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Grandparenting, hosted by Maya Angelou. Gartz’s articles and essays have been published in literary journals, online, and in local and national magazines and newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune. Born in Chicago, she studied at both Northwestern University and the University of Munich, and has lived most of her adult life in Evanston, IL. She earned her B.A. and M.A.T. degrees from Northwestern. To learn more, go to  http://www.LindaGartz.com.

Hosted by Skyline Village Chicago and Forward Chicago.

Comments from our members regarding Redlining in Chicago:

It’s simply my recollection of Lakeview in the days of red-lining and how the community lived in those times.

In the early 1970’s, my husband and I purchased an 1899 asphalt-sided Victorian in Lakeview, owned by a dear woman widowed years ago who was a member of the same church we attended. She continued to live in the “English basement,” we on the first floor, and my parents on the dormered second floor. A lovely garden lot, planted by the deceased spouse, lay alongside the house. The neighborhood was considered “iffy” because of gang activity, noted in the public school playground across the street, and absentee landlords who neglected their properties, just raking in the rents or leaving buildings abandoned until property values increased. We had neighbors from various national origins, Asians, and Latinos, so one could assume this area was ripe for redlining. But my husband had grown up and attended school in this neighborhood, my parents knew the area because of their Swedish associations with stores, restaurants, clubs, and church. It was in this community that brought forth the Independent Movement in city politics under the leadership of newly-elected alderman, Dick Simpson. With energy and vision from throughout the Lakeview community, from the more professional “white collar” segment along Broadway and Lake Shore Drive, westward to the more blue collar neighborhoods, building neglect and redlining became issues tackled by the ward office, the 44th Ward Assembly, and the community organization known as the Lakeview Citizens’ Council. The organizations within the community brought absentee landlord cases before the courts. Parental involvement in the local public schools raised awareness of underfunding, in addition to recognizing outstanding devotion to teaching ignored by the media. Volunteers knocked on doors, informing neighbors of local and city candidates running for office.  Candidates themselves showed up at community meetings, sharing their positions on issues affecting neighbors and neighborhoods…mayoral candidates like Richard J. Daley, Jane Byrne, Harold Washington. This was 1983, when, in that mayoral race, Harold Washington won with an 82% turn-out in voters. The residents of Lakeview had energy, organization, and vision to challenge the same-old, same-old ways to bring about change and renewal. Those efforts and the changes which time brings have brought a very different neighborhood into being, with perhaps a different concept of red-lining.
– Jean Anderson

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