CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicagoans have heard her voice for years on the radio, but now she has a new story to tell in a book.
Natalie Moore’s new book “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.”
Moore sees Chicago’s South Side with the clear eyes of a veteran journalist and the perspective of someone who grew up here. She still lives on the South Side and loves it.
She says the biggest misconception people have about the South Side is, “That it’s one big ghetto, vast wasteland full of people on the corner shooting each other…It’s much more diverse than that.”
Diversity that includes the well-maintained homes in Moore’s native Chatham to the stately mansions of Hyde Park.
But the WBEZ Radio reporter doesn’t sugarcoat the area’s problems in her book “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.”
Racial segregation, she writes, sanctioned for decades by government, shaped by the real estate industry, left black South Side neighborhoods with lower housing values, fewer goods and services and enormous pockets of poverty.
“When you tell a whole generation, generations of blacks ‘well, you can’t buy in this neighborhood, you’re red lined. Oh, you can buy but we’re going to give you the worst loan that’s out there. Oh the housing crash that affected our neighborhood more than others’ – that’s what institutional racism is,” she says.
Moore’s book is a thorough, a personal look at the South Side.
“I think about the weeds I had to pick on the side of the house for the organic garden we had,” she says.
On one hand radiant, but falling short of its potential.
“Until we address segregation, not only in this city but in this region, we’re going to continue to be a city of inequities.”
Natalie Moore tells the story of Chicago’s South Side and the city’s segregation through the eyes of people who’ve live there, including her own family members. It’s also a serious examination of the policies that created the city we know today.