It’s extremely difficult for people to step into the shoes of others and try and understand how hard life might be for them. A plethora of people have this ignorance and do not know what it is like to live in an urban place. Taking a course about urban sociology is an eye opener not only for an understanding of city life but the effects of multiple elements such as race, gentrification, class, etc. Our class interviewed people about the concerns of Atlantic City and what steps are being taken to help restore the city. My group interviewed Henry Hank Green. There is a huge mistrust and a fear of gentrification in the people of Atlantic City due to businesses coming in and out with attempts to renew.
Henry had a lot to say about the issues regarding Atlantic City. His role in Ac is to listen to the voices that are unheard and voice equality. He spoke about how he lived in Ac throughout his life. Henry majored in History and became a teenage parent at the age of 15. All of these factors impacted who he is as a person and how influential he is to the people of Atlantic City. He is the voice for the African American’s issues and concerns. He is very passionate about the schools and how it is essential that there should not be a breakdown of the system. I could tell as he was talking his face changes when schools and the mistrust the people of Ac feel. He is extremely passionate about the city and stopping the decline of Atlantic City. Henry says,” The city is built around casinos and now there is nothing else the businesses that are coming into Ac seem to box out the citizens.” This quote stuck with me because it is truly important who comes into help business in Atlantic City because you never know if it is benefiting the citizens. These businesses can lead to gentrification.
It’s difficult for citizens to be optimistic about new businesses because of the fear that it will end up with them getting kicked out of their own homes. Henry says.” The state has control and understand that they blacks don’t know what they are doing.” Henry Hank green feels that the people don’t necessarily have a say in what happens because the people in charge and unaware of how to make Atlantic City better. One of the main concerns was the schooling system and the corruption that takes place. Henry got a great education and believes it is necessary to help the city get better. Partnerships will help come together and all of the public is affected by the successes and failures of Ac.
Living 20 minutes from Atlantic City allowed me to have an idea of the issues occurring but I never thought about the impact to the civilians. Henry Hank Green opened my eyes to the people and issues way more than just the casinos. Hank was very optimistic about the growth of Atlantic City but he also voiced how many people aren’t. There is a lot of mistrust is present especially from the African American perspective. After the interview we feed the homeless and this took all of Hank’s words to life. The breakdowns of the casinos are affecting the city and this creates the fear of others coming in and boxing out society. These people looked like normal everyday people and that is the scariest part. It is crucial to not be ignorant and aware of all the problems that surround Atlantic City.