The Heart of South Phoenix
(Letter to the Residents of South Phoenix)
Dear South Phoenix Residents,
Initially, I would like to thank you for allowing our class to take a closer look at your community, people and culture. My first impressions followed the stigmatism of the area being poor, dirty and full of crime; however, it was not long that I soon realized I had not been seeing the whole picture.
I recall the morning of my first day, driving up Central Avenue towards South Mountain Park. I saw many brightly colored buildings adorned with what I considered graffiti. As I drove, I began to notice the scenery changing. It seemed to me like night and day. I saw many new homes, subdivisions and beautiful communities being developed. The contrast of the gentrification puzzled me. (page on gentrification by fellow classmate)
Throughout my experience I observed many such instances of change, growth and development. I began to develop a new outlook of the area. One of the most prevalent thing I noticed was the influence of culture throughout the area. It was almost as if they were wanting someone to notice, to Hear Our Cry. The buildings were no longer just tired and old with brightly colored paint. The images of graffiti were soon looked upon as art.
Additionally, I saw many churches of many denominations. The significance to me was that there is a foundation within the families in South Phoenix. Also, through organizations like the Habitat for Humanity, I witnessed what participants from diversified groups can do to change the outlook from within a community.
To say the least, my initial images of South Phoenix were soon changed. I no longer see a hopeless area, doomed for the worst. I see a revitalization taking place, a fresh, new, exciting future for this part of Phoenix. A place where the residents will be proud to call home. Thank you for showing us the Heart of South Phoenix.
Geraldine Lorrie Halfhill
The Hidden Truth of South Phoenix