Previous | Next
264265266267268269270271272273274275276277278279280281282283284285286287288 of 617
But it wouldn't go today. And there was never any problem that
was at least observable, and in all candor the park was basically
white. Today the park is basically black on many days.
So you say to yourself, “Does that really make a differences?”
Yes, it makes a difference. Why? Because it's a difference in
the community aspect. Greenwich Village does not have a significantly
large black population, and there is no restriction,
no limitation (there never was, at least since I've been there)
on blacks moving into the Village. It happens it's a rather
expensive place to move into. And in the South Village, which
was Italian -- there blacks would find it very hard to find an
apartment, and there apartments were basically cheap. And
there was enormous anti-black feeling by the Italian community.
They used to beat up the blacks. They don't anymore, thank God.
But there would be incidents in the South Village.
But the difference is: that if you look at the group of
blacks that come on the week-end now... Every day they're in
the park hanging around in the early morning. I mean I go to
the park if I'm going to catch a taxi maybe to the airport...
I might go through the park (I don't anymore but I did) to go
over to 6th Avenue to get a taxi at 6 o'clock in the morning.
There would be ten people or so sleeping in the park, basically
black derelicts of a kind. And it's threatening. But the
most important aspect with respect to the blacks who use the park
is that they're not middle class people, and the Village is
basically a middle class community. A lot of Jewish clothing
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help