Column/Article

Youth Today: Rebuilding Community Block by Block

By Karen Pittman, May/June 1995

Neighbors. Everyone over 40 tells the story of how if they did something wrong two blocks away, their parents knew about it before they got home. There is widespread agreement that those days are gone. Neighbors have either gone to work, moved to the suburbs, or been silenced by fear of youth violence and parental indifference.

There were no neighbors present in the Fredricksburg, Virginia, convenience store on April 17th when six customers watched a 17-year-old brutally beat a clerk to the floor. No one stopped the teen, no one called the police, no one helped the bloodied clerk. The concept of neighbors seems to be in danger of extinction.

Publishing Date: 
May 1, 1995