A North Omaha Reflection
A North Omaha Reflection
Here are my reflections on his post:
Adam Fletcher Sasse, your Forgotten Omaha posts tonight about the way things used to be in North Omaha, using the example of Conestoga Place Neighborhood as an illustration, touches a nerve with residents, past and present. The segregation and confinement of African-Americans in North Omaha had mixed results for blacks and the community as a whole. There is no doubt that at every level of public and private leadership, North O was systematically drained of its resources or denied the resources that other districts enjoyed. With everything working against it, North O, by which I mean northeast Omaha for the purposes of this opinion piece, the neighborhood devolved. Using a living organism analogy, once businesses left en masse, once the packinghouse and railroad jobs disappeared, once the riots left physical and psychological scars, once aspirational and disenchanted blacks fled for greener pastures, once the North Freeway and other urban renewal projects ruptured the community and displaced hundreds, if not thousands more residents, once the gang culture took root, well, you see, North O got sicker and weaker and no longer had enough of an immune system (infrastructure, amenities, jobs, professional class middle class) to heal itself and fend off the poison. There is no doubt the powers that be, including the Great White Fathers who controlled the city then and still control it now, implicity and explicity allowed it to happen and in some cases instigated or directed the very forces that infected and spread this disease of despair and ruin. The wasteland that became sections and swaths of North O did not have to happen and even if there was no stopping it there is no rationale or justiiable reason why redevelopment waited, stalled or occurred in feeble fits and starts and in pockets that only made the contrast between ghetto and renewal more glaring and disturbing. North O’s woes were and are a public health problem and the strong intervening treatments needed have been sorely lacking. As many of us believe, the revitalization underway there today is badly, sadly long overdue. It is appreciated for sure but it is still far too conservative and slow and small compared to the outsized needs. And it may not have happened at all if not for the Great White Fathers being embarrased by Omaha’s shockingly high poverty rates and all the attendant problems associated with poor living conditions, limited opportunities and hopeless attitudes. If not for North Downtown’s emergence, the connecting corridors of North 30th, North 24th and North 16th Streets would likely still be languishing in neglect. Seeing images of what was once a thriving Conestoga neighborhood gone to seed says more than my words could ever say and the sad truth of the matter is is that Adam could post dozens more images of other North O neighborhoods or blocks that suffered the same fate. So much commerce and potential has been lost there. What about reparations for North O? The couple hundred million dollars of recent and in progress construction and the infusion of some new businesses is a drop in the bucket compared to what was lost, stolen, sucked dry, displaced, denied, diverted, misspent, wasted. I know hundreds more millions of dollars are slated to be invested there, but it’s still not getting the job done. It’s like a slow drip IV managing the pain rather than healing the patient. I know that the infusion of money and development are not the only fixes, but it is absolutely necessary and the patient can’t get well and prosper unless there’s enough of it and unless it’s delivered on time. I just hope it’s not too little too late. And like many North Omahans, I’d feel better if residents had more of a say in how their/our community gets redeveloped. I’d feel better if we controlled the pursestrings. We are the stakeholders. Beware of the carpetbaggers.
Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film
Check out my brand new Facebook page & Like it–
Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film
The work-in-progress page is devoted to my acclaimed book about the Oscar-winning filmmaker and his work.
“This is without question the single best study of Alexander Payne’s films, as well as the filmmaker himself and his filmmaking process. In charting the first two decades of Payne’s remarkable career, Leo Adam Biga pieces together an indelible portrait of an independent American artist, and one that’s conveyed largely in the filmmaker’s own words. This is an invaluable contribution to film history and criticism – and a sheer pleasure to read as well.” –Thomas Schatz, Film scholar and author (The Genius of the System)
The book sells for $25.95.
Available through Barnes & Noble, on Amazon, for Kindle and at other bookstores and gift shops nationwide.
Purchase it at–https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRORX1U?ref_=k4w_oembed_c1Anr6bJdAagnj&tag=kpembed-20&linkCode=kpd
You can also order signed copies by emailing the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author-journalist-blogger Leo Adam Biga resides in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. He writes newspaper-magazine stories about people, their passions, and their magnificent obsessions. He's the author of the books "Crossing Bridges: A Priest's Uplifting Life Among the Downtrodden," "Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film" (a compilation of his journalism about the acclaimed filmmaker) "Open Wide" a biography of Mark Manhart. Biga co-edited "Memories of the Jewish Midwest: Mom and Pop Grocery Stores." His popular blog, Leo Adam Biga's My Inside Stories at leoadambiga.com, is an online gallery of his work. The blog feeds into his Facebook page, My Inside Stories, as well as his Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Tumblr, About.Me and other social media platform pages.
- Hot Movie Takes – “Southside with You” leoadambiga.com/2017/04/29/hot… 10 hours ago
- Hot Movie Takes – “Southside with You” leoadambiga.com/2017/04/29/hot… https://t.co/zgMxX0Y7gI 13 hours ago
- How many followers do you get weekly? 5 awesome new followers for me! Grow with crowdfireapp.com/?r=tw 2 days ago
My Favorite Tags
My Favorite Categories
Calendar of Blog Posts
Categories from A to Z and # of Posts
- Shirley Goldstein: Cream of the Crop, One Woman’s Remarkable Journey in the Free Soviet Jewry Movement
- Color-blind love: Five interracial couples share their stories
- The Storz Saga: A Family Dynasty - Their Mansion, the Brewery that Built It, the Man Who Loved It, a Legacy of Giving, the Loss of a Dream
- Hot Movie Takes – "Southside with You"
- John Beasley and Sons Make Acting a Family Thing at the John Beasley Theater & Workshop and Beyond
- When We Were Kings, A Vintage Pro Wrestling Story
- 'Lovely, Still' is that Rare Film Depicting Seniors in All Their Humanity
- Michael Beasley Follows His Pops John Beasley as a TV-Film Actor, Son's on a Roll with a String of Small and Big Screen Projects, including 'Steel Magnolias'
- A Family Thing, Bryant-Fisher Family Reunion
- John Beasley, Living His Dream
- Hot Movie Takes – “Southside with You”
- Hot Movie Takes – My recap of Julianne Moore in conversation with Alexander Payne
- Hot Movie Takes: Feature VII – Julianne Moore in conversation with Alexander Payne
- Voyager Bud Shaw gives up scalpel for pen
- Hot Movie Takes: Payne’s ‘Downsizing’ may be next big thing on world cinema landscape
- Hot Movie Takes – “Chinatown”
- Pot Liquor Love: Chef-Owner Jared Clarke Goes Wood-Fired
- Hot Movie Takes – “Rawhide”
- New approach, same expectation for South soccer
- Hot Movie Takes: PAYNE’S “DOWNSIZING’” – It may be next big thing on the world cinema landscape
- A melting pot magic city gets its own museum
- Hot Movie Takes – Gregory Peck
- 634,368 hits
- “Nebraska Methodist College at 125: Scaling New Heights”
- ‘Crossing Bridges: A Priest’s Uplifting Life Among the Downtrodden”
- About Leo Adam Biga
- Film Connections: How a 1968 convergence of future cinema greats in Ogallala, Neb. resulted in multiple films and enduring relationships
- Follow My Blog on Facebook, Networked Blogs, LinkedIn
- From the Archives…
- Going to Africa with The Champ
- Hire Me
- Introducing Freelance Writing Academy Seminars with Instructor Leo Adam Biga: Book Biga Today
- My Amazon Author’s Page
- My Inside Stories, A Professional Writing Service by Omaha-Based Journalist, Author and Blogger Leo Adam Biga
- Nebraska Screen Heritage Project
- OUT TO WIN – THE ROOTS OF GREATNESS: OMAHA’S BLACK SPORTS LEGENDS
- Seeking Sponsors and Collaborators
- Passion Project. Introducing the new – “Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film”
No upcoming events