Home HouEnvir Good Times and Real Life In The Housing Projects

Good Times and Real Life In The Housing Projects

Good Times and Real Life In The Housing Projects

Every time I see the opening credits of the classic TV sitcom, “Good Times”, I’m always reminded that the housing projects shown are no longer there. The notorious Cabrini Green projects were torn down in 2011. The Evans family lived in one of those buildings but the housing project they lived in was never called by name. But those of us who grew up in Chicago knew exactly where they were.

When I was a little girl, my family lived in the projects, too. Cabrini Green was on the near north side. We lived on the west side of Rockwell Gardens. Those buildings were demolished earlier this century. Our apartment was similar to the one the Evans family lived in, although our front room was not as spacious as theirs was. There were two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a tiny bathroom, and a great lack of closet space. Not quite enough room for a single, divorced mom with three children, but we made it work.

My family had moved out of the projects long before “Good Times” premiered on CBS in 1974. But we still had memories of day-to-day life there. The issues about vandalized washers and dryers in the laundry room, broken elevators, gang wars that caused people to hide in their apartments, etc., were true. But other things that happened on that series did not always reflect reality.

One of the curious aspects of the show was how everyone, from family members to next-door neighbor Wilona Woods, could just walk into the Evans’ household without knocking. I know that’s a common television trope. It’s done because it’s usually too time-consuming and/or boring to show characters opening doors for visitors, especially if it is an individual whom they know well. But most everyone who has lived in the projects would agree with me that front doors in those apartments were usually locked at all times. Just leaving the door open all the time would have been like hanging signs that said, “Please come in and take whatever you want.” It just wasn’t done.

Bookman was the obnoxious custodian whose character was added to the show during the second season. Bookman seemed to have a lot of power, including being able to evict families. Of course, custodians are obligated to report unusual conditions they find to management. But I never knew the custodian in our old building having authority other than to clean. In fact, I remember tenants always giving the custodian a hard way to go and complain about cleaning issues.

Recently, I saw a rerun of an episode where Thelma had won a scholarship to a prestigious, predominately white, all-girls’ high school located in Michigan. A member of one of the school’s sororities showed up at the apartment to convince Thelma to pledge with them. The Evans quickly figured out that the sorority only wanted Thelma as a token member because she was African-American. There were so many things wrong with that scenario outside of the racism. The sorority member, a blond teenage girl, who was obviously from an upper middle class or wealthy background, would not have been caught dead in the projects back in the day. Not everyone who lived in the projects was criminals or dirt poor, for that matter. But the only white people I saw who dared venture into the projects were social workers, insurance agents, and the cops. Stories about the housing projects being dangerous, violent places kept everyone else away.

After Thelma turned down the invitation to join the sorority, the sorority girl decided to leave the family with one last parting shot. She told them they were lucky that they didn’t send another sorority girl to see Thelma because that particular girl hated African-Americans. JJ slammed the door closed behind the sorority girl. In reality, that girl would have been cussed out or worse for being asinine enough to express racial discrimination in an area where she was the minority at the moment.

I still enjoy watching reruns of “Good Times”, but I always have to weigh how life really was in the projects against the Hollywood version.

Source by HJ Hunter


  1. buying prescription drugs in mexico online [url=https://mexicoph24.life/#]mexico pharmacy[/url] mexican pharmacy

  2. buy generic ciprofloxacin [url=https://ciprofloxacin.tech/#]ciprofloxacin[/url] buy cipro online without prescription

  3. hysterectomy after breast cancer tamoxifen [url=http://nolvadex.life/#]tamoxifen medication[/url] clomid nolvadex

  4. purchase cytotec [url=http://cytotec.club/#]buy cytotec online fast delivery[/url] buy cytotec in usa

  5. get propecia without a prescription order cheap propecia or buying cheap propecia
    https://www.google.hu/url?sa=t&url=https://finasteride.store rx propecia
    [url=https://www.keepandshare.com/business/tell_keepandshare_support_reportcontent.php?url=http://finasteride.store]buying propecia without a prescription[/url] order generic propecia for sale and [url=http://etalk.enpranichina.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=241685]cost generic propecia without prescription[/url] order cheap propecia tablets

  6. cheap propecia online [url=http://finasteride.store/#]cost cheap propecia[/url] order generic propecia without prescription

  7. ciprofloxacin 500mg buy online [url=https://ciprofloxacin.tech/#]buy cipro online[/url] ciprofloxacin 500 mg tablet price

  8. buy cenforce [url=https://cenforce.pro/#]Buy Cenforce 100mg Online[/url] cenforce for sale

  9. Buy Levitra 20mg online [url=http://levitrav.store/#]Buy generic Levitra online[/url] Buy Levitra 20mg online

  10. prescription free canadian pharmacy [url=http://pharmworld.store/#]online pharmacy[/url] canadian pharmacy no prescription

  11. buying prescription drugs in mexico online [url=http://pharmmexico.online/#]mexico pharmacies prescription drugs[/url] medicine in mexico pharmacies

  12. mexico online pharmacy prescription drugs [url=https://pharmnoprescription.icu/#]how to get prescription drugs from canada[/url] prescription canada

  13. canadian drug pharmacy [url=https://pharmcanada.shop/#]canada drugs online reviews[/url] legit canadian online pharmacy

  14. buy medications online no prescription [url=https://pharmnoprescription.icu/#]buy meds online no prescription[/url] canada online prescription

  15. canadian pharmacy without prescription canadian pharmacy no prescription or canadian pharmacy world coupon
    https://clients1.google.gp/url?q=http://pharmworld.store mail order pharmacy no prescription
    [url=https://www.adminer.org/redirect/?url=https://pharmworld.store]cheapest pharmacy to fill prescriptions with insurance[/url] legit non prescription pharmacies and [url=http://bbs.cheaa.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=3118669]canadian pharmacy world coupons[/url] canadian pharmacy coupon

  16. doxycycline hyclate [url=http://doxycyclinea.online/#]doxycycline 100 mg[/url] buy generic doxycycline

  17. prednisone 40 mg tablet [url=https://prednisoned.online/#]prednisone medicine[/url] over the counter prednisone medicine

  18. zithromax cost uk [url=http://zithromaxa.store/#]zithromax 500 mg[/url] azithromycin zithromax

  19. 25 mg prednisone [url=http://prednisoned.online/#]prednisone 5mg price[/url] 50 mg prednisone tablet

  20. prednisone 10 mg daily [url=https://prednisoned.online/#]average cost of generic prednisone[/url] prednisone 50

  21. doxycycline hyclate [url=https://doxycyclinea.online/#]doxycycline 100mg[/url] doxycycline hyclate 100 mg cap

  22. doxycycline 200 mg [url=https://doxycyclinea.online/#]doxycycline vibramycin[/url] generic for doxycycline

  23. buy prednisone without a prescription best price [url=https://prednisoned.online/#]1250 mg prednisone[/url] 50mg prednisone tablet

  24. neurontin price [url=https://gabapentinneurontin.pro/#]neurontin 100mg capsule price[/url] generic neurontin

  25. cheap neurontin [url=https://gabapentinneurontin.pro/#]neurontin 300mg tablet cost[/url] neurontin 300 mg price

  26. zithromax prescription online [url=http://zithromaxa.store/#]zithromax capsules 250mg[/url] can i buy zithromax online

  27. zithromax capsules [url=https://zithromaxa.store/#]buy azithromycin zithromax[/url] zithromax buy

  28. doxycycline tetracycline [url=https://doxycyclinea.online/#]buy doxycycline online uk[/url] doxycycline hyclate 100 mg cap

  29. can i buy amoxicillin over the counter [url=https://amoxila.pro/#]amoxicillin 500mg buy online canada[/url] amoxicillin 500 mg tablet


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here