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The Forgotten Bottom

            "The Forgotten Bottom"- this was the term that over time became the notorious nickname for a small neighborhood in South Philadelphia. "It is west of 34th Street and is comprised of about 15 residential blocks hemmed in by 34th St. and I-76 to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, Grays Ferry Avenue to the North, and vacant industrial and railroad land to the south" as is written in The Forgotten Bottom Remembered. This book was recently published and was created by a few Temple professors a swell as a number of Temple students. They interviewed a number of residents in the "Forgotten Bottom" area about what it was like to grow up and live in that area at that time. There were various types of people they interviewed with varying ages. Each had a story to tell, honored to be asked, and we now have the privilege to hear them. Their experiences in their neighborhood are very different from what one might expect life to be like growing up in such an area as Southwest Philadelphia. The Grays Ferry area in particular, mostly in the 1990's, had lots of racial tension and crimes that gained them national recognition. Amidst all of this the Forgotten Bottom Grays Ferry community managed to stay close knit and the community got along despite the racial tensions surrounding them. These people's stories show how, despite all the barriers and close-minded views we are exposed to in the media and society, and all the prejudices that surround us, they were able to look past all of that and appreciate each person for who they were. Instead of letting their differences push them apart-they worked to make them pull them together. This is such a beautiful thing and the fact that so many people can now be exposed to these people's stories and the love and sense of acceptance that this community felt for one another is even more beautiful. Hopefully people who read it will carry that sense of love for one another on with them.

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