We'll Remember in November: The Defense of Segregation in Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia


  • Courtney DeFelice Temple University




On the morning of March 23, 1971, a group of furious white men and women, many carrying small children, left their homes and marched to a six-acre lot bound by Front, 2nd, and Oregon Streets in their South Philadelphia neighborhood. When they climbed atop bulldozers and physically blocked construction vehicles from entering the site, the Whitman Park community inserted themselves into one of the longest legal battles over public housing in United States history. The neighbors were protesting construction of the Whitman Park Townhouse Project because they feared that public housing would transform their community. In spite of, and in reaction to, recently passed federal anti-discrimination laws, the people of Whitman Park were determined to keep their neighborhood segregated. The protests violated federal mandates, but the residents felt entitled to this lawlessness, claiming a need for protection against alleged criminality in poor minority communities.


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"We'll Remember in November": The Defense of Segregation in Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia by Courtney DeFelice is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License