Cities: Man with a Match

Tucked beneath the bluffs along the Mississippi on its Illinois shore, East St. Louis (pop. 80,000) is a squalid reach of crumbling brick buildings, battered frame shacks and sleazy taverns, redeemed only by a view of St. Louis' soaring Gateway Arch across the river. Poverty workers estimate that an appalling 65% of East St. Louis' housing is substandard; a full 21% of the work force is unemployed; nearly a third of the city's families—55%-60% of them Negroes—are on some form of relief. Fine kindling for riot, and last week Firebrand H. Rap Brown applied the match.

Perched on the hood...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!