A few holes later, as Robinson vainly poked a 6-iron around in some tall grass beside the fairway looking for one of his balls, he conjured a vision of Benton Harbor’s future. “This could be a model for African-American towns,” he told me. “I want to see this turned into a great place to live, work and play and have it be predominantly black. A great place to play golf, go to the beach, with great schools, a place that turns out scholars, athletes and artists. A place that’s banging, as they say.”
The juxtaposition of Benton Harbor’s impoverished population and its two rising monuments to wealth — all wedged into a little more than four square miles — make it almost a caricature of economic disparity in America. But at the same time, it offers a window into one possible future for towns across the country, places that can no longer support their own economies or take care of their citizens and may ultimately have no choice but to turn their fate over to private industry and nonprofits. The way things are going, more and more states may start to look like Michigan, and more and more towns may start to look like Benton Harbor.
« Older The other Chelsea. A story from Donetsk... | Today, a comet falls into the ... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt