Good Times and Real Life In The Housing Projects

Every time I see the hole credit of the vintage TV sitcom, “Good Times”, I’m all the time reminded that the housing tasks proven are not there. The infamous Cabrini Green tasks have been torn down in 2011. The Evans circle of relatives lived in a type of structures however the housing mission they lived in was once by no means known as by way of title. But the ones people who grew up in Chicago knew precisely the place they have been.

When I used to be somewhat woman, my circle of relatives lived within the tasks, too. Cabrini Green was once at the close to north aspect. We lived at the west aspect in Rockwell Gardens. Those structures have been demolished previous this century. Our condo was once very similar to the only the Evans circle of relatives lived in, despite the fact that our living room was once now not as spacious as theirs was once. There have been two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a tiny rest room, and an ideal loss of closet area. Not fairly enough space for a unmarried, divorced mother with 3 youngsters, however we made it paintings.

My circle of relatives had moved out of the tasks lengthy ahead of “Good Times” premiered on CBS in 1974. But we nonetheless had reminiscences of daily existence there. The problems about vandalized washers and dryers within the laundry room, damaged elevators, gang wars that led to other people to cover of their residences, and many others., have been true. But different issues that took place on that collection didn’t all the time mirror fact.

One of the curious facets of the display was once how everybody, from members of the family, to next-door neighbor Wilona Woods, may simply stroll into the Evans’ family with out knocking. I do know that is a not unusual tv trope. It’s finished as a result of it is typically too time-consuming and/or dull to turn characters opening doorways for guests, particularly whether it is a person whom they know neatly. But maximum everybody who has lived within the tasks would consider me that entrance doorways in the ones residences have been typically locked always. Just leaving the door open always would had been like putting indicators that mentioned, “Please are available and take no matter you need.” It simply wasn’t finished.

Bookman was once the obnoxious custodian whose personality was once added to the display all through the second one season. Bookman gave the impression to have numerous energy, together with having the ability to evict households. Of path, custodians are obligated to record abnormal stipulations they in finding to control. But I by no means knew the custodian in our outdated development having authority as opposed to to scrub. In reality, I take note tenants all the time giving the custodian a difficult method to cross and complaining about cleansing problems.

Recently, I noticed a rerun of an episode the place Thelma had received a scholarship to a prestigious, predominately white, all women’ highschool positioned in Michigan. A member of one of the vital college’s sororities confirmed up on the condo to persuade Thelma to pledge with them. The Evans temporarily found out that the sorority simplest sought after Thelma as a token member as a result of she was once African-American. There have been such a lot of issues improper with that state of affairs out of doors of the racism. The sorority member, a blond teenage woman, who was once clearly from an higher center magnificence or rich background, shouldn’t have been stuck useless within the tasks again within the day. Not everybody who lived within the tasks have been criminals or filth deficient, for that topic. But the one white other people I noticed who dared challenge into the tasks have been social staff, insurance coverage brokers, and the police officers. Stories in regards to the housing tasks being bad, violent puts stored everybody else away.

After Thelma grew to become down the invitation to sign up for the sorority, the sorority woman determined to depart the circle of relatives with one remaining parting shot. She informed them they have been fortunate that they did not ship some other sorority woman to peer Thelma as a result of that individual woman hated African-Americans. JJ slammed the door closed at the back of the sorority woman. In fact, that woman would had been stubborn out or worse for being asinine sufficient to precise racial discrimination in a space the place she was once the minority at the present time.

I nonetheless experience gazing reruns of “Good Times”, however I all the time must weigh how existence truly was once within the tasks towards the Hollywood model.

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