The Nation: A Long Weekend

"Last weekend I spent a month as a resident of Bankhead Courts," wryly observed Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson. Bankhead is a $10 million public housing project where 2,646 low-income black people live. Though the project was completed only four years ago, it started falling apart almost immediately; Jackson spent a weekend there as the guest of a widow and her seven children as a way of drawing attention to the wretched living conditions.

Jackson wandered around the proj ect for most of the two days. He found rats feeding on garbage, noticed a number of light fixtures and heating vents that did...

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