“It’s interesting how you have these very lively and charismatic characters congregate at a bus stop talking ‘barbershop trash’. But in fact they’re very bright by the very nature of their well grounded and insightful commentary on the state of world affairs.” Dr. Roland Jefferson – Psychiatrist and Author
Urban Removal is an engaging play based on the degrading life on the Westside of Chicago, a place where both population and communities have gradually but surely disappeared to be replaced with a different demographic and upscale real estate.
Meanwhile, long time residents and survivors Can Man, the colorful self-anointed neighborhood mayor; Ili, the entrepreneur; Fenny, the commonsense blind guitarist; god fearing Alberta, and young Jamal join wits at a daily ritual bus stop corner encounter to discuss the neighborhood’s events and problems of the world.
This work is good story telling based on both fact and fiction.
“It goes a step beyond “The Help.” in that it is contemporary and universal.” Doug Casement – UIC Project Upward Bound English Teacher
Author: John Robert Bland
MUP, city planner, playwright, songwriter, and poet.
Excerpt (written in a play format and so this is a line from character Can Man)
But let me tell you something. This here drugs they got on the streets ain’t like reefer. This is the knockout punch and it will destroy all of us whether you use it or not. You gonna lose your children, your house, your money, and your mind. You better listen to me.
“Thanks for the journey back to our youth because this is the only way we will have to remember it since the neighborhood and soon our old high school will be no more, so the written and spoken word is the vehicle we will use to pass our legacies on and though you can remove the buildings they will never be able to touch the memories of those times.” Ernest Pettis – Chicago’s Crane High School Basketball Standout