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Henry Horner Projects

- b. sloane - Thursday, July 28th, 2005 : goo

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The Henry Horner Homes are one of 's many interesting . They are located at Damen and Lake by the United Center (where the Bulls and Blackhawks play). When I first moved to Chicago I became fascinated with the and read the book "There Are No Children Here" set in the Horner Homes. These projects once consisted of seven 16 story high-rises and several low rises. As of June 2005 the last high-rise (pictured above) was demolished and only a few low -rises remain.

This article has been viewed 110118 times in the last 11 years

Peter: 28th Jul 2005 - 14:00 GMT

wow, this is the sort of entry i really love seeing... conveying images and facts to me about somewhere id never otherwise have the chance to even know about, much less see. thanks a lot...

also: that rules that you got a photo of the now-demolishd building.

michelle: 28th Jul 2005 - 14:24 GMT

In a related but unrelated story. I tutor kids at the Chicago Park district...Horner Park to be precise. On Tuesday they unveilled a huge painting Horner. The whole history behind the projects is really interesting. i think people who saw them from passing cars had one idea of what they were and people who lived there knew the harsh reality that their surroundings were just a reflection of the life they were living...whether they wanted it that way or not. my soap box...:):):)
thanks for sharing the pics.

talkingsupermen: 28th Jul 2005 - 16:37 GMT

I read that book a few years ago. Interesting to see the pictures.
Thanks for the post!

jeeff: 29th Jul 2005 - 16:27 GMT

is this common - for all the projects to be getting torn down?

ebony: 26th Sep 2005 - 14:58 GMT

this is addressed to everyone. it's one thing to see these buildings and read about them but its another to live in them. i was born and raised in these buildings and to see them so is painful. my mother and grandmother were as well, and knowing that my children wont be able to see where i grew up is just.......

hill: 26th Sep 2005 - 16:56 GMT

projects in philly got torn down and then they built low income housing in the surrounding blocks. ive enver seen buildings get built so fast. you know its complete crap thats gonna get torn down as soon as they figure out how to turn to the neighborhood in a thriving economic district

.........: 7th Nov 2005 - 16:06 GMT

this comment is to let poeple know out their how you can change your life although from such bad backgrounds... everything is possible just put your heart to your life and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

chris: 10th Nov 2005 - 01:04 GMT

hey googd site
i had read the book just last semester
having been in a gang, pharoh(from the book "there are no children here"), has graduated high school by the way, for those who have read the book.

titus: i love over there to

ellea: 20th Nov 2005 - 18:11 GMT

I just finished reading There are no children here and was moved. I would love to know how the family and especially the two boys are doing now. It is sad to know that children have to grow up in a world like that. My only hope is that those children do not give up hope.

TheManTheDeveloper: 5th Dec 2005 - 19:05 GMT

I drove through the area this summer and saw the wrecking ball actually swinging into them to knock it down. It was cool to see. It was was weird, you could actually look into all the different apartments and see how they were decorated. Some were blue, yellow, red painted, some had mirrors still up and other paintings and objects. I am sure there was alot of history there. Maybe alot of pain too. It is great that they are bringing down those developments, they were a bad idea. You see not everyone, but many people who lived there ended up getting caught up in the crime or ending up on welfare being products of their environment. Now all the people living in those homes, live in apartments that they choose. I bought a couple three flats for the first time, and my tenents were for the most part section 8 paid for by the government. One of my buildings, which I am fixing up sucks. The other is very nice and has 1100 dollar a month apartments. Whatever the case, now people will move to neighborhoods all over illinois and Chicagoland area. If they choose a nice area, their kids end up hanging out with the rest of working class suburbia, and upperclass in many cases. And they will sleepover, hang out, become good friends with the kids and learn how normal America is. They will see that the easiest happiest path, is just to go to school, get a degree, work hard. Not to try and live off the system as that sometimes was the only way people knew living in the projects. I apoligize if I offend anyone, not everyone got trapped in that environment, or had much a choice.

David B. Hall: 3rd Jan 2006 - 01:41 GMT

I was born and raised in the Horner, and I was there when Oprah filmed "There Are No Children Here" and the Author of book Alex actually spent alot of time interviewing a lot of families there to write the book. I was friends with the family. Seeing the buildings missing is very odd. There were good and bad times there that i'll always cherish. Another good point of reference about the Horner is a documentary titled "Legacy" it's about a good friend of mine who was killed and his family. I'm a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and I'm currently writing a screenplay about Horner titled "Pressure, Pain and Promises" so when u see it at the theaters u will know it's me. Long Live the HORNER! To Chris: Pharoh is doing great I see him ever so often last time i seen him was about a year ago and he was enrolled at SIU-Carbondale

John: 7th Jan 2006 - 22:21 GMT

I read the book There are no children here and thought is was an outstanding book. I've heard about many terrible things that occurred at Henry Horner Homes through the years. It was a bad idea to concentrate poor families in one area and isolate them from the rest of society. Not everyone in the projects are bad people. The problem is there were certain troublemakers that messed it up for everybody. Now I see it is a good thing to tear them all down because no one, especially children should have to grow up in such a harsh cruel environment. I would like to get in contact with some of the residents who lived there to find out in person about growing up in Horner. So if anyone who was from horner read my post, contact me at

kahnah shelton: 8th Jan 2006 - 01:55 GMT

i grew up in chicago on 41st and cottage grove

Jo: Read the book;thought it was great.

manuela: 19th Feb 2006 - 10:56 GMT

im also reading the book "there are no children here" and i often ask myself what the family is doing now?was glad to read davids writing that they are well...i`m from germany and was really shocked to read about that hard life.(sorry,my bad english)greetings to the rivers

ki: 21st Feb 2006 - 15:46 GMT

i grew up in these pprojects and half of the bad things are not true

Trish: 21st Feb 2006 - 17:57 GMT

Reading the book now. Remember when Oprah interviewed the author. Live and grew up in white middle class suburbia, so reading this book has opened my eyes. Too bad the government sees fit to bail other nations out when so many of our kids are living like this and worse. I feel for America when I'm old - the generation we are raising now has all the luxuries for very few, and poverty and starvation for many.

Bean: 9th Mar 2006 - 22:09 GMT

I'm reading There are no Children here, and work on the South Side of Chicago, I'm meeting the author at the end of this month, which will be intersting. Most of the Projects in Chicago, from Cabrini Green, Robert Taylor Homes, Horner, Ida B. Wells homes are being or have been demolished in the past few years. Lots of people are eing displaced by these buildings be closed, despite the city's efforts to build new Mixed income housing. I worry that these areas are being quickly gentrified, and will drive the poor further away from the Loop, where the jobs are.

Monique: 1st Apr 2006 - 01:53 GMT

Upon tearing the complexes down-what happened to the people? Did they build new complexes?

Mashly: 6th Apr 2006 - 19:51 GMT

My class is reading There Are no Children here and it is very intresting to be able to see pictures of Henry Horner. Now my class is doing a project and i found your web site very informative. Ill tell all my friends about it.ENJOY!!! :)

stuff: 1st Jun 2006 - 02:46 GMT

man im from henry horner b, and to monique yo de didnt build nuthin new for us, kuz Mayor Daly be trippin, he says we a problem and he wants to "entigrate" us, or frill it means make us hobos

Cabrini: 1st Jun 2006 - 02:48 GMT

hey, i was born and raised in Cabrini Green until now, they say they wanna help us, but they just wanna hurt us, politicians come up in here with talk that they wanna help us, build us better homes, but i aint seen nothing good come up outta Cabrini Green

Mtv: 27th Jul 2006 - 23:33 GMT

Cabrini green was pretty bad,especially in the 1970s and 1990s gang wars between the Vice Lords and Mickey cobras.Except in about 20 years the new cabrini green we call now will just be the same problem.I took a drive through there a year ago it concisted of about 6 white high rises,and about 10 red cabrini midrises and alot of new homes.

Interested: 11th Aug 2006 - 01:32 GMT

I am currently reading the book and am quite intrigued by the story. I am studing Child and Family Services with an interest in child advocacy along with the life and struggles of children. If anyone from any of the housing projects would like to talk to me e-mail me at THANX!!

zagg: 11th Aug 2006 - 01:43 GMT

I have never read the book (but now I'm interested) and only have romantic joyous views of Chicago (aka tourist) but I love how all the comments in this is so obviously from people who found the site through search engines about the 'there are no children here' book.

Sahara: 18th Aug 2006 - 04:21 GMT

Thanks for having the picture because I read There Are No Children Here
That book is so good and shows a familys story of living in the projects.
Now i can see the actual place that boook takes place in. I hope that one day things wil get better for everyone.

omi of bridgeport ct: 2nd Sep 2006 - 21:04 GMT

I love the book there are no children here I cry and laugh and I wonder what are they doing I would love to meet them and tell them how much I love their story.

heidi: read the book i thoght it was excellent

Janelle: 21st Sep 2006 - 13:20 GMT

I just read the book, too. I was wondering if anyone knows what ever happened to Pharoah, Lafeyette, Terence and the rest of their family. Any ideas?

hrifijnbdksjnfksdf: 21st Sep 2006 - 23:46 GMT

I i had just read the book i am 12, i am very interested in the other life that i could be living now. It's scary to think that it could be me waking up every morning afraid of dieing in my own home. This book has changed my reflection of life drastically!!! It is and always will be my favorite! and i will to look on the backround for just a reminder of what people can be born into. I'm not living life to the fullest as i should be i found a way to help people live their lives the fullest by helping with make a wish foundation. This book people think i am to young to read. Personally i think teens and older kids should read this book to show and prove what some lives can be changed but not often depending where your enviroment is. Now i am doing a report on the book but i am planning to take a step further and find every detail on what can and has happened. As i said before, this could be my life.

Chicago: 18th Oct 2006 - 03:18 GMT

Interesting that the picture poster wrote about being a newcommer here and being interested in the projects. I am extremely interested in them. I'm not sure why. I read "There Are No Children Here" in 8th grade and began a journey to want to "make a difference," I work for the public school system. Not all that far from Horner. Though currently they are down to two buildings on Damen right off of Lake. One is about to be demolished.
Alex Kotlowitz was speaking at the library (downtown) when I first moved here to promote "never a city so real" but I asked him about the Rivers children. He said he was still in contact with them but he didn't want to elaborate to much. He said both graduated high school. One attended college briefly and one was married with a kid (possibly). This was about three years ago.

Dane: 31st Oct 2006 - 18:51 GMT

I have been conducting research on the Horner Homes since I read Alex Kotlowitz' book "There Are No Children Here." It is a fantastic book, however the stories are filled with grotesque images of anti-hope, racism, and the black condition in Chicago's ghettoes. Does anyone from the Horner area remember any times when Alex, the author, was present and compiling his own research for the book? It would help out a lot with my own interest as well a paper I am writing for a college history course.

bob: nice pictures

Jasmine C.: 25th Nov 2006 - 20:34 GMT

Hey! I lived in Henry Horner projects most of my life, but my mom and grandmother all of their life. We lived in the 1920 building facing the United Center. After my cusin Terrell Collins was killed at age 14, a man named Todd was determinded to get my family out. He began filming a documentary on my family called the "Legacy". My grandmother was given a home of her own, and things started to get alot better. Now I'm a senior at Gordon Tech awaiting college life, to persue a career in Denistry! Well thanks for putting these photos up, it reminds me of where I came from.

CC: 11th Dec 2006 - 16:50 GMT

I just read the Book There are No Children Here and it made me laugh, cry and even upset at all the things the people or Horner had to deal with. It makes you count your blessings.

DEE: 13th Dec 2006 - 19:37 GMT

YO you all read the book there are no children here but i lived it i'm from henry horner projects i lived in 1900 on the 6th floor i was raised around goons and gorillaz but i maintained a positive attitude through my childhood days in the hornets as we called them i attended brown elementary and crane high school for education but now i'm at wilberforce university through the blessings of god cause i would have been one of my friends who got popped-off if i didn't fly straight if it wasn't for movies like there are no children here most of the youth i as raised with wouldn't be able to tell their stories today 4CH ANGELO ALL DAY

anon (localhost): 15th Dec 2006 - 14:57 GMT

Read There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz. Talks about the lives of two black boys living in the Henry Horner Homes.

Sizwe: 2nd Jan 2007 - 16:54 GMT

I currently reading the book. It is an amazing story. I will like to know how is the family doing today?

LicieLove: 2nd Jan 2007 - 17:01 GMT

I'm a chicago native reading this book for the first time, I'm 20 now. I grew up on the Southside in Inglewood, but I went to private schools my entire life. And at 8 my family moved to the suburbs. I had never heard of Horner homes, well I never knew the formal name until I read the book. The book was actually recommended to me by a TSA guard when I was flying home for Xmas break from New England.
Since Robert Taylor and the other homes were demolished low income housing was built in the cornfields relatively close where I currently live. I guess it was an attempt to "integrate" but mostly everyone I know including my family is leaving the suburbs because they fear their property value dropping. The only thing that disturbs me about the demolitions and relocations is that the areas which previously held the projects has turned into prime real estate areas. The low-income families just seem to be pushed back into the burbs away from the glitz and glamour as everyone moves back to the city and it seems as if the state has an "out of sight out of mind" policy. Since, I'm kind of on a tirade of no return I'll get to my point. I just think it's a shame that peoples' homes are being demolished to make way for the wealthy it's not fair and it's not right.

not important: 11th Jan 2007 - 15:01 GMT

the projects is like inner city manchester in britain where i grew up

high school student,WI: 20th Jan 2007 - 21:10 GMT

i am currently reading There Are No Children Here, with school,and writing various essays on it. Growing up in chicago, i knew people who lived in Henry Horner, but never reflected on their life style ( i was only 7), since reading this book, i am truley amazed. I desperatly want to know how to help the public be aware of these situatiojns and how to help. Also, where are the Rivers today?

D. Perkins: 22nd Jan 2007 - 14:45 GMT

I, too, wonder about the final outcome for LaJoe,Lafeyette,Pharoah, and the tripletts. Please send an update to

the light: 23rd Jan 2007 - 21:05 GMT

i grew up in the henry horners. now since ive grown up and matured i realize this place was a trap for our people.though i will never forget where i come from because it made me who i am today. i think that as a whole the people still living in situations like this need to help one another another rise up and want more for the children and grandchildren. instead of become products of their environment maybe they will become doctors,lawyers or anything they set their hearts on.

Zachary: 6th Feb 2007 - 17:43 GMT

Coming from NYC you never see stuff like this. They look almost like the projects in New York, but the light is right. They are a trap. An' when I had to chance to see them up clsoe and in person I was stupified by their presence. Growing up in the PJ in NYC-all I can say is thnk god they are gone...!

4m a mamas heart: 9th Feb 2007 - 05:22 GMT

My heart aches for kids in situations like this. It is one thing to for an adult to make a conscience choice to remain in that atmosphere, but a child has no choice. Those conscience choices come when people choose to not do well in school & take the advantage of bettering themselves to get out. Two pieces of advice to anyone in such an enviornment....1) get to know Jesus and 2) take advantage of the educational system. God bless to all and remember no matter where we live, what color we are, what kind of car we drive, the model of our homes or the amount in our accounts---one thing is the same---JESUS LOVES US ALL!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Lisa I: 16th Feb 2007 - 18:59 GMT

I am a student studying for my MSW and just finished reading the book. I thought it was great and really opened my eyes and mind into what else is in the world. I would be really interested to find out how some of the people within the namely the Rivers family are doing these days and there thoughts on the renovations of the Horner Homes

MeE: 23rd Feb 2007 - 22:02 GMT

i thought There Are No Children here was interesting at first but got SO boring.

marquesha blunt: 8th Mar 2007 - 22:09 GMT

I think that chicago is more cleaner now then i thought it will be I was raise in chicago ils with my cousions and my auntie it was bad then but known they pick it back up

John Bland: 20th Mar 2007 - 21:42 GMT

The reason it is cleaner is because they have displaced the residents they didn't wanted and now providing superb services, except to those areas that they are still trying to bulldoze. I grew up on the westside. My great aunt lost her buildings on Hoyne Street after the riots because the city neglected the services to the neighborhood. They wanted it to run down so they could implement the plan you see today where there is a Boys and Girls Club and a library there but the community is gone. Just because it is named after Jordan does not make it right. I hope Ms. Johnson across the street is still hanging in because even back stabbing black preachers and politicians aided the city and developers to take buildings and homes from black residents, and since when is Crane an Academy? I spent 10 years in 2111 West Lake and we moved in when it was new, the first project they tore down despite the fact that it was one of the "new projects". It was an awkful childhood with violence inside, police violence, and who can forget the killing of the Soto brothers? The Henry Horner experiment worked to destroy generations, and what was the University of Chicago doing unless they were involved in concocting this injustice.

Earnest ( Bubble) Pettis, Crane '68": 20th Mar 2007 - 23:49 GMT

Well I grew up at Henry Horner at 1920 W. Washington # 606 and like John Bland, a classmate of mine so aptly stated this plan has been in effect for many years due to the close proximity to downtown. The Mitchell family of which the mother Lil Jo from the book and movie "There are no Children Here" were one of the first families along with ours to move into the building in 1956 when they were brand spanking new and a great place to live. Though I now reside in Atlanta,GA. I still come home often to see family and friends but just could not take the "HAWK" any longer. Yes it's kind of an eerie feeling when I ride through there now and don't see the place you grew up and can no longer show it to you children and grandchildren.
If all the services and protection had been provided to the residents that was provided to the visitors at the United Center they could possibly have survived, but my memory is of 3 and 4 policemen per corner when there was something at the Stadium ( name before the United Center) but the minute all the whites left the venues so did the police and you could dail 911 and it could be hours before they would come if they came at all. But now they have rebuilt on the very spot where the rent use to be section 8 or less than 200 dollars to now have 300 & 400 thousand dollar condo's and apartments. So though it took many years their plan continues to pay off very handsomely for the displacement of those without a strong voice. They can remove the buildings but the memories are forever because there were some great people to come from those projects.

Andre: 21st Apr 2007 - 17:12 GMT

I grew up in horner as well. Born in 1920 W washington #303
Then at 1943 w Lake #410 then at 120 N. Hermitage.
So you can see I know the hornets well. I grew up with the kids from the book There Are No Children Here. I had good memories there but way too many bads ones. I went to Suder and Brown School. I remember Stadium Parking, Mad Butchers the boys and girls club( Major) Union Park I mean that was my life. So, all can say that it is good that they are gone and maybe it is. But for some of us that is where we are from and for that the memories will never fad just the buildings. R.I.P Horner You may be gone but not forgotten.

Andre: 21st Apr 2007 - 17:15 GMT

Pharoh And Laffy was real friends of mines. Me and Pharoh use to watch Saturday Night Main Event at house and play Baseball all day. I am glad the book was written but in the movie There Are No Children Here a lot of stuff was left. I am a ScreenWriter myself and working on a Screenplay called Chicago 85 about me and the people from horner in that year.

Tasha: 27th Apr 2007 - 03:20 GMT

I read the book There are no Children Here and thought it was amazing. I now realize that I never knew what poverty really was. I promise you once you pick this book up you will not put it down, I read the whole book in one day. It really opened my eyes to alot of things. I was wondering if anybody knew how the Rivers family was doing, Lafayette, Pharoah, LaJoe, Terrance, the triplets, everybody. If anybody has any information about the family and their whereabouts, please e-mail me at This book by far is the greatest book I have ever read. Truly a life-changing experience.

Cambel: 27th Apr 2007 - 18:15 GMT


Most of the residents of Cabrini Green were unemployed, so being near the Loop had nothing to do with people getting jobs. People went on welfare and had apts. that were basically free so there was not a lot of incentive to work. There was no reason to get a job, these projects were bad ideas that trapped people into a cycle of poverty.

jen: 27th Apr 2007 - 22:44 GMT

I just finished the very last page of "There are no children here". What an amazing life this family has endured. My best to all of them! I too, have been exposed to what was really going on in Chicago.

Cort: 29th Apr 2007 - 04:38 GMT

I just finished the book and it was amazing. To get a window into the lives of the children and their mother was a gift.

Erica: 5th May 2007 - 17:07 GMT

I just finished reading There Are No Children Here. It was such an amazing book and really opened my eyes to what poverty in America really is. Before I really had no idea. I would really like to know what happened to the Rivers family. Terrence, Pharoah, Lafayette, LaJoe, and the triplets. If anyone has any information please email me at

Anna: 9th May 2007 - 15:00 GMT

This book is avery good book and any of people should read it!

Nyla: 16th May 2007 - 08:07 GMT

I have read this book twice and have twide been appauled by the injustice that takes place in our society. If the family ever reads this I jus want to say that your tory is the story of many Americans and although it may have been hard to share kno u have opened the hearts and minds of many. You have also allowed the door of prayer to be opened over ure life. Everytime I thought of ure family hiding in the hall and Pharoah stuttering because of his nerves, I cried and prayed for u all to be well.......... I will continue to pray that God protects u all blesses u all in the future. I too am interested in knowing what happened after that book. I was about the age of Pharoah and Laffy during that time so they should be about 25-30. I would love to know what ure life has become and if you were able to overcome all the adversity. If anyone knows please respond to God Bless

Joe: 8th Jun 2007 - 22:13 GMT

Like several that responded to this post, I too was raised in the Horner Projects (2215 W Lake st). I attended RN Dett, McKinley Jr HS and graduated from Westinghouse HS in 1980. I haven't had the opportunity to see the demolished site of my old building, but I know it will fill me with sadness when I do. I know that many only here negative things about the projects and while most of it is true, there are also many good things about them as well. Some of the most cherished moments of my life occured in those projects. Its where lifelong friends were made and lost. The projects are a study in contrast, they're a place that offers some of the greatest moments of your life along with some of the worst. I have many memmories of the projects, but the good memories far outweigh the bad. When pepople I meet learn that I grew up in the projects, they always ask "What was it like?" And "How did you get out?" For anyone out there that would like to know I would be more than willing to tell, but what I always let people know is that in the midst of all the drugs, violence and poverty I had a very happy childhood. A feww years ago I took my sons to see the place where their dad grew up. And although I have been blessed with the opportunity to raise my kids in a totally different environment I still want them to understand their roots, the blood of the Hornets flow through me, so it flows through them. So when they get older and ask me about growing up in the projects I will always let them know that I'm not proud of where I'm from, but I'm not ashamed of it either.
RIP Henry Horner projects you bricks and morter may be gone, but your memories will live on.

Terrence aka' main' lee : 11th Jun 2007 - 00:24 GMT

i love growing up there it was a learning time a tome of brotherly love,i wish my kids could understand what that truely meant to us,we ,the familys of the great henry hornets.ilove you all who were there and made it out,and for those who are mental stuck in that frame of mind,let it go the world awaits you.-ALMIGHTY5

Lee: 11th Jun 2007 - 11:44 GMT

I was 4 years old when we moved into 120 N.Hermitage apt# 1401.Back then they were called "Henry Horner Homes"...But in relity they were an cultural experiment perpetrated on disadvantaged people.During the 11 years that I lived there I had a very happy childhood,spending most of my time between the Boys Club,Union Park.When I read There are no children here,I was stunned by what that family had to endure.. I will never forget from whence I came.....the buildings are gone..but I still have the memories..the good and the

J.J.: 25th Jun 2007 - 17:24 GMT

i CAN remember when i was young growing up in the HENRY H. as a child i was known as the cry baby. I had a older sister that i was named after that spoiled me to death. When i would come out everyone would say take that cry baby in the house. now that i'm all grown up i look back and remember the fun i had as i was coming up even though i'm still a spoiled cry baby. much love Dixon's

S.B.: 25th Jun 2007 - 19:08 GMT

first of all you shouldnt go by what you read in books because everything isnt true. I lived in 1943 W. lake for 18 years. I loved living there it was always some place I can call home. I felt really safe because I knew everybody and if something did happen they would tell all the younger children to go in the house or to get somewhere safe now. I miss the hornets so bad and to see that my building is gone makes me want to cry. My mom however still lives over there but in the last building standing, 1936. It wasnt the buildings that was bad it was when those people started tearing the building down and placing residents in different areas everybody got confused. Doing that was like throwing some kittens into a dog house. Anyway just to let everybody know growing up there made me a stronger individual who now has a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design which by the way has a good paying job. I have 3 children all by the same father and will be getting married July 28.

Myeisha: 9th Aug 2007 - 15:45 GMT

I received the book "There Are No Children Here" two years ago for a birthday gift and I've read it numerous times since them. I try to picture the way things were in my mind. I grew up in Maywood, a West Suburb, but we drove through there on occasion because my parents knew folks there. I cannot recall one bad memory in my childhood. I was as free as a bird and played outside without dodging bullets and gang wars, so it hurts to know that, not so far away, Lafy and Pharoah were living in virtual hell! I am SO curious to know if anyone has any updated info on the family. I read the above comments, which tell me a little (thank u so much though). I also bought the video "Legacy" about Terrell Collins' family who also lived in Horner. Henry Horner has become an obsession of mine, so any pics or information anyone could send me, please do so at:!!!

slim c: 21st Aug 2007 - 05:49 GMT

i live in the hole for 15 years i watched it became a mad house low was one of my best frends as kids then he became lowdown .bobo .markey.kenny.h ice mick ,big fred, sleep,paul aka weez,fufu,soda,this is homies it go,s on and on but we live how we hade to i watched people die and live there so it made me see live in a new light so i got love for that place that i well alway keep in me so love peace truth freedom and for life.............

D.Bennet-lived in 1943 apt 606: 23rd Aug 2007 - 18:29 GMT

I grew up in the Henry Horner Holmes a.k.a. the Hornets i live in 1943 4 trey i also grew up with pharoah and laffy and that movie portrayed them as innocent fun loving children but i had so many fights with pharoah i had to avoid him growing up, and i happen to know for a fact that laffy is responsible for one boy Christopher Furr loosing his eye.So dont believe everything u read, dont get me wrong the hornets were bad but not from with in it was a difference within the projects we were a house divided between the olds and the news. across Damen 1943 and beyound were the olds where the vice lords,gangster stones,and 4 corner hustlas were and the news going down towards western 2029,2051 and so forth where the black deciples, cvl`s and gd`s were so the trouble came when we had to cross the tracks one time or another. first of all our grammer school was right across the streets which was Suder a great school under the care of Ms Brenda B. Daigre, see the Hornets had two main grammer schools that was Brown And Suder and the problems Came when we were intergrated the people from the news were moved into the olds which put BD`s in the middle of vicelords, a disaster waiting to happen, to keep it short the plan was designed for one half of us to Die the other half to become incarcerated. And what ever`s left to be scattered over the westside and surrounding suburbs. Which split the familys up, So we were no longer a contained unit what i mean is we protected each other because no one ever got killed unless someone from another project or neighborhood ws involved, Back then the only place u would get shot was in the leg or arm. we were a family even in high school. I attended Jessie Spalding which quickly became the neighbor high school if u fought one person from the Hornets u fought us all we were a contained unit regardless of gang they even combined two gangs at one time because they were so close under there name Double Solid ( travelers And Foe corner Huslas) Almighty. thats why they had to get rid of the projects because we were adapting so don`t believe everything u read there are no children here was some Bullshit some of us lived better in the projects than people with houses theres was not trash every like Oprah portrayed it but as usual they have to make us look as poverty stricken as possible to appeal to a broader audience, hell i didn`t wear any thing But Jordan`s like most people in the Hornets, prices Ranging from 100 dollars to 150 does that sound like poor no but lookin back on it now it was sad that Jordan would make his shoe`s so unaffordable for his biggest consumers African Americans in urban areas. So make no mistakes if we wanted something we could have it, we didn`t wait for the government to give us anything although they would lead u to believe we were all welfare recipients. My mom worked for prominent companies all her life and now works for the Chicago Transit Authority for the past 17 years so u can stick ur stereo types about The Hornets up Ur a__ R.I.P Angelo(4ch) Deal(Tvl) Barry the Butcha(Tvl) Willie Green (4ch) Joe Meeks (BD) and All other Lords we aint forgot Forever in our Hearts Henry Horner the double H. Da Hornets 1943,1936,1920,1900,141,1847,150,140,111,120 the olds still got love the news across Damen.

the university of chicago: 17th Sep 2007 - 08:17 GMT

ok.. i am reading the book, with mixed feelings. part of me sympathizes with the family, the other part enrages the hell do you let your kids grow up like that? i mean you start having kids at 13 and keep having them..., um, hello! stop f*cking! no offense, but i couldn't see lajoe as nothing more than a welfare mama with 8 kids and a crackpot husband. sure, racism played a part, but it is also a matter of individual accountability. and for those who grew up in henry horner--don't front--it was the projects, so don't try to sugar coat it. it is what it is. although i am surprised that so many claim to have graduated highschool and college under such dire conditions, oh, and found a "good paying job" (although if it was so good paying why the hell were you living in public housing--but i digress) GO MAROONS!

anon ( 19th Sep 2007 - 06:27 GMT

Unfortunately, our government right now has the same opinion as this person called "the university of chicago". This is very disturbing.
Please vote for Clinton, she has the best chance of changing the way things are going the real american people. Hillary also has the best chance of being elected president!

Varie: 22nd Sep 2007 - 01:22 GMT

I live in the Hornets also but my fam was fortuniate enough to get out. As soon as I started saying Vice Lord, we were out. We moved to Gary, IN. which wasn't that much better. Anyway, I just got the book (There are no children here) yesterday and I'm looking foward to seeing what is said about my old neighborhood. That place made the realest people I've ever known. I just wanted to say much luv to everybody that came from the Hornets.

GoUofChicago: 28th Sep 2007 - 17:54 GMT

I couldn't agree more with University of Chicago. UofChicago may sound cruel, but the only way to get out of a cycle like this is taking control of your own life. Anyone with kids knows, though we love them, they are a huge burden physically, emotionally and financially. Realistically, how can a mother with 13 kids educate herself or even work her way up a career ladder? So much is available in the way of birth control, I find it inexcusable to produce what you can't support. Children suffer when people have them for their own selfish reasons and then subject them to the hardships faced in "Their Are No Children Here." Hillary - NO WAY! She wants to continue giving out welfare like candy (thus keeping this cycle going). Remember, she doesn't give a rip, as she doesn't have to live this way. I think black people are smart enough to see through her. Yes, Republicans do force the baby bird out of its nest so that it can learn to fly. Maybe you see that as cruel, but I see just feeding the birds and KEEPING THEM DEPENDENT ON YOU as cruel. I'm for education incentives and birth control so these folks can have a chance.

Mr M Gates: 8th Oct 2007 - 00:51 GMT

yes i was raise in the horner and i will miss that place mainly because of the remember of growing up there and the many friend that was lost because of the gangs and also of ones move on with their lives and so and so have I. so farwell to the horners and the boy club and major adams.

Jennifer : 10th Oct 2007 - 15:44 GMT

I too have read "There are no children here" and was very touched and saddened by what happened there. I know some of you want to put the blame on LaJoe for having so many kids and starting at such a young age, but she too grew up in Horner and only saw this. People make mistakes, you move on. LaJoe provided for her children and loved them with her whole heart, just as a mother should. She never blamed them for their situation, she took responsibility for her own actions. I applaud LaJoe and her children.

Vashon T Jordan: 16th Oct 2007 - 20:41 GMT

Wow I never knew so many people read that book! well let me back up what D.Bennett said (naked face) it was made for tv, exaggerated, it made pharoah and laffy look like saints (and I had my share of scrimmages with both of them) and it was watered down at the same time. I lived in the Hornets the first 25 years of my life and I've been working in the community teaching Life Skills and conducting team-building activities for students at Dett School, St. Malachy and Dodge which is not too far from there for the past to years and I'm only 32. Most of the kids i teach their parents grew up with me so it's such a special feeling to know one) I'm able to relate, and two) I'm giving back. growing up I never imagined that I would be in this position..THANK YOU GOD....and I just want to say tearing down the projects was the best thing that could have happened to us because so many people thought they would be there forever and so many others wanted nothing more than to be there forever. But Henry Horner will live forever in my heart and mind and everyday I go to work I'm keeping the Hornets alive!!Naked Face I love you man it's yo boy Shon...R.I.P Eric Russell (DBO)HORNETS 4 LIFE

Carleen: 22nd Oct 2007 - 18:14 GMT

wonderful book, couldnt put it down! Didnt know there was a movie also. Its sad to read about how other people live in our country and makes me look around at what I take for granted. I couldnt imagine having to raise my own children in that kind of situation.

crystal Henderson: i used to live there i love it

Eddie: 12th Nov 2007 - 00:04 GMT

I lived in the Pruitt-Igoe projects when I was little, scariest place ever, our neighbors down the hall we're killed and there 4 year old daughter was thrown out the window, My parents eventually moved us into a harlem project, and then I moved to california, thank god my kids live in a middle-class suburb and won't deal with the hell that I went through.

Sharelle: 12th Nov 2007 - 04:24 GMT

I grew up in the projects on Roosevelt and Racine. They are now torn down. Thank goodness we had moved to the Bronx in 1984. My child knows nothing about the project life.The way of life that most of us lived was terrible.I'm glad we got out in time but some are still in the area. Good Luck.

Andre: 13th Nov 2007 - 23:54 GMT

D Bennet? I grew up in the hornets also. I lived in 1920 and 1943. I grew up with them also and I was there when Laffy threw the glass at chris. I know them two very well. We even have sleep overs at each other house. Once Laffy was living in 1847 and him and this guy AD use to get into with us all the time. It was not till they moved to 1920 and he had to go to Suder that we became cool. I also know we use to hit Chicago Ave and Goldblatts and steal our but off. I remember when the white man came to the hornets to talk to us kids. The problem I have is it made them to be saints and thats not true. But I also understand it's entertainment. I hate the fact that they made the Hornets out to be the worst jects in the city. I was born and rasied there. I had good and bad memories. But it was my childhood that mold me. And that childhood came from the hornets. I know why the buildings had to go but honestly it hurts I cant show my kids where I came from. I see some people on here are from the Hornets. Just think back to Stadium night? When in the summer the water came on right by the big and little playground and how much fun we had? How we use to wrestle in the hallway building vz building. I also lived in the 120 on the 4th floor. And I recently lost my grandma this year who moved us to the Hornets in 1974 in 1920 apt 303. And of the last conversations we had was about what I call home. And, we spoke of the good. A few more things I like to point out. James was just as bad as the rest of us. In the book they got it wrong. I remember when James moved to I think it was Academy Square right off the highway around Jewels. I still can remember me and a few friends calling ourselves the Force MD's and rapping out butts off. Even going on tv at Malcom X college. Anyway Henry Horner is a part of my life and although its gone the memories can never be taken away. And my entertainment didnt come from that book. It came from the many lessons I learned while living there. Any Hornet people hit me up at maybe we can remember togheter.

Sheldon Hollis: 24th Nov 2007 - 19:47 GMT

well if u ask me why are they tearing down so much projects i feel and i belive some of the projecvts are bad like state way gabrini green and some of robert taylors but not all of the projects are bad i think since i want to become a congress man when i get older try to build centers and clubs for kids not more luxury apartments

Ladrena: 27th Nov 2007 - 16:40 GMT

Growing up as a child in 1847 W.Lake st.It was much love.Everbody knew each other and had love and respect for one another.I grew up with the family in the book Paul,the father Joe the mother Paul jr. Shawne,Raydell.They lived in apartment 701 and we lived in 505.As a child that was my second family.In that household no matter what was going on you could still feel the love.I have so much love and respect for that family.My life after 16 year's old in the Henry Honer Home's was A living hell1..If u ever grew up in the Horner project then you knew me.I can say that i do miss the Horner's in one respect. But on the other hand them building's coming down killed so many bad memory's for me.The bad did outway the good for me.God is so good i would one day like to tell my story and trust me it's a real good one.If you would like to comment on any of this please Email me at

Pettis - December 09, 2007: 9th Dec 2007 - 22:29 GMT

Your comments resonate the truth in so many ways. When you peel back the years, you'll find that many families raise their children in the Henry Horner Homes. The Mitchell family was a 'force' even during the years we grew up there. They were an absolute army which is why they held one the five bedroom units which were the only ones on the first floor of the jets. My time there preceded the next generation that Greta,LaJoe, Lindy, LaCille, Fat & Skinny would bring into the world. Big Bro Earn (Bubble) Pettis, was always one that people looked up to in the hood. Being a Crane basketball standout, when colleges came sniffing around, he became the 'possibility' and younger kids like myself could grow up believing that you actually could make it out of the jets. We lived in 1920 in Apt. #606 since they opened the doors at Horner. It's main strength during the 50's was that it was a solid community. I grew up with more than 20 'ma ma's' in my building alone. So whether it was Mrs. Draper, Kelley, Snowball, Allen, Smith, Mack, Carroll, Nunn, Anthony, and many more, they wouldn't hesitate to reel you in if you were doing wrong and bring you to your parents. Over time, that cohesiveness eroded somewhat and it became even risky to knock on your neighbors doors let alone assist in the rearing of their children through examples and teachings. I think people started to 'mind their own business' which is a pre-cursor to the death of a true community. My Mom and Dad raised 8 of us in those projects and each one of us grew up and out to at least make a mark on this world. My parents ruled the household with an iron fist of righteousness, faith, and love. To this day, I remember the faces of those that raised and taught me life lessons that would increase my chances of survival out in the real world. The most important lesson was that there was a 'world' beyond Henry Horner. So whether it was Mr. Brown sharing wisdom during fishing trips with my Dad or Homer the janitor teaching me to take pride in anything that I do, life lessons were always around me and being taught in light of the hardships. In a way, they shielded you from most of it because they didn't want you to 'grow up too soon'. I must admit that gangs were nothing compared to the realities that befell the children of the 80's and 90's that grew up in the hood. Hell, a big deal during my day was running because somebody was trying to shoot a 'zip gun' which was a .22 caliber bullet in a copper pipe with rubberbands and a piece of metal on the back of it. That was the beginning that would lead to no more bloody noses and knots on your head from a beat down from the boys from the new projects. Somewhere along the line, they started playing for keeps and death became the new conflict resolution. We use to actually settle it on the basketball courts in the big playground and families would sometimes come out and watch because it was still a community. That is why nearly 50 years later for me, it is a blessing to even hear from each of you, your comments and experiences. YOU proved that even in the later years, you too 'were that possibility' that proved with focus, goals, and support, your environment can't contain you. We can rise. Failure never defined the person that fell down because we all do. When we did, we got up! And by the grace of God, each of you made it!


Mattie - December 10th 2007: 11th Dec 2007 - 02:43 GMT

I just finished reading "There Are No Children Here". The story of that family and especially Pharoah & Lafayette brought me to tears. I was wondering what are they doing now did they finish high school? Will there be a follow-up to their story.

New York: 13th Dec 2007 - 06:34 GMT

So what has become of the Rivers family and the two boys? (Lafayette and Pharoah)? Anyone out there know?
I heard Kotlowitz speak about 6 or 7 years ago here in Brooklyn and I liked him then and I still like him. I'm a college teacher and I assign the book in one of the classes I teach. The reason I'm spending my evening searching and searching There Are No Children Here is because I got a few papers that sounded awfully familiar---as if I had read the exact same words before. Sometimes all I have to do is google the title of the book and up comes something almost identical to what I am reading. I am an easygoing person and prof. and don't want to fail anyone or report anyone so I asked a couple of students to re-write their papers in their own words, and they all got annoyed with me and indignant and nutty and all. (If I used someone else's words to write a paper I don't know if I would go and challenge the teacher----what's that all about? A death wish?) So now I'm forced to deal with an unpleasant situation. In all my searching I've come across such a variety of things written about this book and it is really easy to write about it without using someone else's ideas, words, etc. All I want is for my students to do a little reading, a little learning. Why can't we all just get along?
I'm going to sleep and will figure it all out tomorrow.
(Oh and did I tell you about the angry email all in caps I got from one of the students who was indignant bec. I didn't read her entire paper-----but right there in the first paragraph was the sentence that I've read over and over again: "Kotlowitz follow two boys.....10year old....blah blah blah as they try to resist the lure of gangs, and mourned the loss of friends while trying to maintain a sense of inner peace?" OMG how many times to I have to see this same exact sentence in different papers and then my student angrily emails me? I wish it was the 70s and I was the student and I could be indignant and righteous and uppity and always right. I don't want to be the grownup. It's too tiring. Thanks so much for letting me vent. My cat and my daughter are tired of listening to me (husband won't listen at all). P.S. Most of my students did not plagiarize and I know because their writing is too flawed to have been copied. But I love them just the same, bec. they had their own ideas and thoughts and feelings and interpretations and they didn't write about anyone's inner peace.....................

Jean: 7th Jan 2008 - 08:47 GMT

It's interesting reading the response people have about life in Henry Horner. My family moved there when only the first three floors had tenants and appliances were still being installed in the other apartments. I lived with both my parents, and contrary to what people believed both of them worked. There were many hard working loving people in those buildings. My thoughts were that they were designed with the pattern and purpose of slave ships, designed specifically to keep folk in order....but order was disturbed once the police began commiting justifiable homicide. I learned alot in those buildings about life, family, hope and determination. I wouldn't trade it for nothing in the world. For me Henry Horner did what it was suppose to, it helped me grow up. Much love to the families and survivors of Horner.

Angela 1/9/08: 10th Jan 2008 - 03:44 GMT

Hail to the Hornets........I didn't live there, but worked there. My employer told me that my experience in the Hornets would prepare me for life more than I could imagine. He wasn't wrong. As all of you have said there were sad times in the Hornets, but the happy times make up for it. I love all of your stories if you have anymore send me an email at

jamal: 10th Jan 2008 - 18:16 GMT

I remember the Henry Horner projects very well. I never lived in any of them but lived one block away on Warren Blvd. near Damen. I remember as a little boy when they were under constuction in 1956.The newer buildings west of Damen and Lake street went up around 1960.I attended the same schools that all Horner students attended.I first started at Brown,then Suder who later transfer me to Birney at the corner of Washington and Wood st. I attended Mckinley jr.high school from 1964-66.Mckinley had been a high school up until about the mid 1950's.In the late 50's to mid 1960's it had become a gangbanging school. I graduated from there to Crane tech for one year [66-67].Crane also was falling to gangbangers and some fights broke out all the time. Crane [in the 60's] was between Henry Horner and Rockwell gardens projects.I transfer and went to St. Plillips from 67-69 and graduated from Austin. From Austin i came back to the "hood" and attended Malcolm X College. All my life while living in Chicago i lived in the shadows of Henry Horner. Most of my classmates and friends lived there as well.
But decline began to take it's toll in Henry Horner in the late 60's as Black people began to assert themselves and with riots breaking out on the westside from 66-69 the Horners began to change as those who could afford it moved out, while the gangs,thugs,and dope dealers took control.I avoided the madness,and could see it was a plan of the racist system to get blacks to kill one another off. I later moved to our farm in Covert,Michigan then later to Atlanta,Ga.where im at today.I always visit the area when i visit Chicago [about 2 times a year]. While most of the area housing has been torned down i will never forget the hood as it was 'back in the day'. But i also welcome all the new buildings going on in the area as it's bringing in more progress.

paul: 13th Jan 2008 - 16:22 GMT

i just read the book for school, and it really opened my eyes about the project. If anyone knows what happened to pharoah or lafeyette, please post it up here. I do know that pharoah was livin with the Kotlowitz's though, but I don't know what happened to him.

Katherine Edwards-Harris: 14th Jan 2008 - 13:42 GMT

My name is Renee and I lived in 1847 w.Lake my mother name is Dorothy Jean and we lived there for quite a few years. anyone who knows me my sisters Tiny or Meme please contact me at I would love to hear from some old friends or acquaintances I went to Brown, Birney and Skinner schools and I am now 42yrs old living in Ohio

demetrius: 16th Jan 2008 - 23:28 GMT

my family lived and henry horner from 1968-1998 in 150.n.hermitage apt #603
#704 #205 my mother name is sabrina huff grandma name is ernestine huff if anyone know the huff family email me back at

anon ( 16th Jan 2008 - 23:47 GMT

My name is Sabrina I lived in 150 N Hermitage

I was born and raised in the Horner, and I was there when Oprah filmed the movie... and David Hall is you Kathy son? My grand kids is some kin to the Mitchell, Denise Mitchell her daughter Dawn, what I know they are not doing so well. Denise live down the street from me I have to ask what has become of pharoah or lafeyette

anon ( 16th Jan 2008 - 23:56 GMT

Thats so true sb people should not go by every thing that they read and every thing you said is true, when ever the gangs was in war they will tell every one to get inside and wait until every one has gone inside before they started shooting. The book was filled with a lot of false information what so ever. People back in the day was like one big happy family and we really looked out for one another.I miss the horner every day . and I loved living there and I miss every one.

Sabrina H

If any one remember me send me an email Thanks
S.B.: 25th Jun 2007 - 19:08 GMT

first of all you shouldnt go by what you read in books because everything isnt true. I lived in 1943 W. lake for 18 years. I loved living there it was always some place I can call home. I felt really safe because I knew everybody and if something did happen they would tell all the younger children to go in the house or to get somewhere safe now. I miss the hornets so bad and to see that my building is gone makes me want to cry. My mom however still lives over there but in the last building standing, 1936. It wasnt the buildings that was bad it was when those people started tearing the building down and placing residents in different areas everybody got confused. Doing that was like throwing some kittens into a dog house. Anyway just to let everybody know growing up there made me a stronger individual who now has a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design which by the way has a good paying job. I have 3 children all by the same father and will be getting married July 28.

Taylor: 18th Jan 2008 - 00:40 GMT

Hey, my class just read "There Are No Children Here" by Alex Kotlowitz, about Pharoah and Lafeyette. It's interesting to actually see the buildings that they lived in with so many other people; i wish them the best of luck in their adulthood.

Montrice Weathersby A.K.A Sconey Wrong: 27th Jan 2008 - 01:50 GMT

I was born and raised in the Henry Horner Homes projects in 1975 in the building 2145 w.lake St.We loater moved to 2215 w.Lake st and all i could remember is gun fire and purse snatching aa the time in the early eighties.I seened people get killed shot stabbed beat down to the ground litterally,my best friend keith was shot with a 30 yard/6 in the back of the head,and died instantly,my guy name Corey got killed at the age 15 by a guy that later got killed himself for trying to stick another gang up called the 4 corner hustlers in the early 2000's.I also have experienced some bad times there myself and i wouldn't trade it all in to save my best friend Lil ride got shot 23 times and was paralized then later came up out of it and became sucessful.he later got shot in the butt,ankle,and then he later got shot 7 more times in the chest,back and his son at the sge 5 got shot in thje chest with a 45 calliber as well in the chest and lived and he's my big brother and best friend.My guy Spud,Big b,Big Dell,Joseph Logan who is paralized and i pray to God that he come out of it and become normal again R.I.P To all that have died.And big up's to Oprah Winfrey for recognizing the Henry Horner Projects And I wish that Oprah Would look into the facts that i'm saying and Give Denzel washington the Opportunity to live the life of Cornilius Jackson and let the world know how special the Henry horner Projects really are.there also was a guy that jumped from the 11 floor window and lived also just look into the facts(1-217-390-8888)Champaign il,61802.

Hannah: 7th Feb 2008 - 22:51 GMT

I read the book "There are No Children Here" by Alex Kotlowitz a few weeks ago and it was a wonderful book. A real eye opener to the terrible conditions of the housing projects in Chicago and probably everywhere. I wonder what has come of the boys (Pharoah and Lafeyette). Does anyone know where I could find the Oprah episode about Henry Horner and the book by Alex Kotlowitz?

D.bennett: 12th Feb 2008 - 17:07 GMT

All right real talk i`m tired of hearing people say they`ve read the book there are no children here that book the movie was all bullshit ok u don`t have to feel sorry for us because alot of us made it and those who didn`t played the card s they were dealt. It`s all about individual choices nobody told lil joe to sit up and have all them kids. but even still there are many people who had many children and lived well to . the henry horner projects were once a beautiful place to live although we had bad times there were good times to, i loved it there even after we moved i still hung out in them on a daily basis. that movie mad us look like some dirty pissy mischievious welfare recipients which wasn`t true there were alot of people with real jobs just living there to save money in fact some of the kids who grew up and got apartments of there own there as well. So make no mistake it wasn`t about gettin out it was just about surviving day to day, violence is everywhere no matter where u live whether it`s home invasions store roberries or internet fraud crime is everywhere not just in the projects it`s u taking care of ur own and lookin out for the people around u and thats what the hornets were people lookin out out for those they know and we all knew each other give or take a few bad apples. So dont place blame on the place , place it on the individual, create ur own blueprint for life dont look down on anyone drop em a line and pull them up. uplift the race. R.i.P. Angelo, Deal, Barry the Butcha, Monk, Willie Green, Joe Meeks, Boodie Mike, And all the other people we knew and loved and a special R.I.P to a women who was like a mother to me Beatrice (sista) Winters and brother Cheek Omaley Hornets For Life Gone But Not forgotten Ur spirit lies where buildings rise to bring new families to open there eyes to the harsh realities of our horner ties,we forever hold u in our hearts, 1943,1920,1900,1936,1850,141/1847,111,120,150,140 the olds is where i dwelled. 1943 Apt 606

B. B: 14th Feb 2008 - 00:11 GMT

I live in Henry Horner as well from 1982 until 1989. I have to say that my time in the Horner projects was a learning experience. I raised 5 children there and none of my children turned out bad. I don't know why people stereotype people in the projects but, If you haven't walk in my shoes don't critize. I meet a lot of nice, intelligent individuals when I moved in the place it was beautiful during the beginning of the eighties and of course I did not want to take my children there but circumstances caused me to be there and I made the most of the situation. When I moved in the building were clean, grass green, chainlinks fences and beautiful playgrounds for the children it was not bad at all but, like someone said the government decided that we were living too good and. What I really want to say is that when the book "There are no children here" really author find the real people that was there when those things took place I know the family well and I don't know if you the author really got the story straight but you need to talk to some adults that live in Horner during the time of the book you really protrayed us in horner like lazy, welfare people, and I was there where that family lived and you really didn't protray them like it really was. Yes they lived in a seven story dwelling with all of those kids and not a 15 story like you protrayed them. You really left out the most important parts of their lives. What I am saying is that the projects was not a bad place to live just a short term living arrangement only meant for you to get on your feet and move on. All of my children are successful people with a good education and good jobs. So Hats Off to Horner you will be sadly missed. Get the facts straight before you look down your nose at us.

Tamia J.: 19th Feb 2008 - 06:03 GMT

I'm from the Southside of Chicago. Many of my Dad's family members lived in the Robert Taylors ('97-'05) until the day they were forced to leave because of demolition. The RT's were considered my second home cause i was there visiting my family most of the time. I never lived in the Horners nor did i ever visit them but i'm commenting to say that I can relate to some of you who have commented on here. Like many of you, I have had some good and bad memories in the RT's. I knew hard working people from the projects not the lazy people the media portrays us to be.I'm 19 now and am I am currently attending Florida A & M University on a full scholarship but I still think about the memories I've had in the RT's. I've lost many friends but I truly miss the people I knew there, sadly I lost touch with a lot of them.

jimmie tye aka (big crystal bother): 21st Feb 2008 - 18:19 GMT

what's good my double h family life is good after the project's i lived at 1943 w. lake st for most of my life until now i was born in 1984 in i can remember living in the project's since 1988 till 2005 life was a maze staying in the hornets if you was a young men like myself trying to stay away from the gang's was a everyday thing i garduated from suder elementry school some of my classmates are not here today i didn't think life could be so hard at that point in my life( R.I.P RAYDELL DAVENPORT A.K.A SUNGGLES).(CLARENCE A.K.A DONTE).(TONY WOODS A.K.A NUKE).(CUEDELLUS BRUKES A.K.A Q-DILLA).(T-MAN).(ERIC RUSSELL A.K.A D-BO)much love to my soldier's that are gone to another place . i had many friend's that stayed in the hornet's the hornet's was like my father cause i never had one the hornet's forced alot of young man to grow up fast who didn't have father's like myself i may have gotten side tracked a couple of time's in my life but i always gotten back on track there's alot of love and alot of pain that went down with the buliding's only if the wall's could talk in the hornet's boy what would they say im out much love.

Elijah strong: 26th Feb 2008 - 17:04 GMT

RIP to my family Born and raised in the Henry Hornets Andre Strong aka dad, Angie Jordan, Marky Harris,Deonta thomas(aka)Tay,RIP to the homies Snuggles, Donte ,Nuke,T-man ,Q-dilla,D-bo. Im missing yall every day . Im 18 very blessed to be alive so I have taken avanage of that .To all the knukle heads education is the key to the street and the key to life. I made it out you can to. vote oboma

D.Bennett: 2nd Mar 2008 - 23:44 GMT

Damn it`s like every time get on here i see a new paragraph about someone who has died from the hornets and often someone i new like (tony Wood aka Nuke i watched him grow from a boy to a man because i my mom moved us from 1943 to hermitage Manor aka the town houses. i grew up with his brothers Gerard aka Roddy and Roosevelt aka Lonnie and uncle Bernie and cousin R.I.P. Tony Rone it`s sad that he`s gone and he didn`t get a chance to really live. And also D-Bo-Derrick Russell my boy he was a twin eric and derrick 4ch till the world blow up or until he left this earth. The sad thing is that they thought that by gettin rid of the projects the killing might stop but sadly these people died after the hornets were gone. It`s not the place that breeds violenceit`s the violence within the individual so it doesn`t matter where u go the people r there all races and creeds. It`s happening all over the city all over the world it`s not a race ting it`s a people thing just like drugs ,violence doesn`t care what race u r or where u live it`s right outside in the projects or downtown,in front of ur mansion or outside ur apartment. Although the neighborhood looks different the element still remains remember the projects were new once apon a time to, White does not mean better it just mean better disguised because we aren`t lookin because they r white,just look at all the nice white faces pushin us out and offering us nice houses in the suburbs and they are movin closer to the city and the united center more convient for them and more inconvient for us and expensive. Just look where there was once affordable housing u have $6 and seven thousand dollar condos ready to rent ,now who from our neighbor hood can afford that, HINT

E$MONEY(1920 BABY 4EVA): 12th Mar 2008 - 15:23 GMT

I lived in 1920 for most of my life apt,209.My name is eric a.k.a(egg)and i've seen many people from that area fall from chidhood to adult.Caugt up in gangs,drugs,and life hardships.I'm not saying that im successful or well off,but I had a choice of acting on right from wrong and understanding what you should and should'nt be getting yourself into.True enough I've lost a few friends to violence and imprisonment,but the fact of the matter is that many people think cause you're from the projects that you cant be a active person in society.I'm blessed to say that I've always respected myself and other people 24/7.I would also like to add that we as a project community had a lot of fine ass females from HENRY HORNER in each building so dont get it twisted,particulary 1936; from 1980 to 1999 please believe it.

SLA: 26th Mar 2008 - 01:29 GMT

I read the book "ther are no children here" It was a very sad book.As I read the coments abouve it makes me wonder how much of the book was fact and what was really missing...If anyone knows about the Rivers family please comment sow e all can know what they are up to now!

Jodi: So whatever happned to Pharoah and his family???

CSR: 27th Mar 2008 - 13:56 GMT

There Are No Children Here really moved me to do something about public housing, and raise awareness about it. Being a kid myself, I don't know what I'm going to do about it, but I'll do something.

D.B.: 29th Mar 2008 - 16:24 GMT

Well i`m back again and all of the outsiders opinions are still the same. Like i said before i grew up in 1943 w. lake apt. it as often ruff but the same people u see as the bad guys were most of my chilhood friends and i love and miss them all some became sucessful some not but still my friends all the same. They all have good hearts and all are good people unless pushed in the wrong direction. We all can be good or bad according to the direction of the wind i`m not gonna give a long drawn out testimony i just wanna pay hommage to some of my close child hood friends and some people i just had fun hangin around with and maybe a little trouble now and then. Darryl and Boo Campbell my real close friends who i was in every room with in suder elementary Darryl use to give lunch money when i couldn`t afford it because our mothers made to much we had to pay for lunch. Eugene Green a.k.a Bushwick,Corey winters,Jimmie Winters(Lebop),Kevin Gentry(KG),Bobby Brown(bobby Joe),James Tate,Deon Barnett(naked Face)DC Charles Winters,Andre Winters(dre D Dumas) And all the other friens and family i didnt mention much love

D.B.: 1st Apr 2008 - 12:58 GMT

Whats good people i`m back again just tryin to put down some of the negativity to pay hommage to some of the friends and family who are no longer here and most who are still here just to show love. R.I.P to Tony Woods aka Nuke,Tony Rone(4ch),Angelo Chief Lo (4ch),Erick(Debo 4ch),Monk,Deal(Tvl),Teddy Barfield (GS),Tracie Barfield aka Big Soft(Tvl),Big Yank(Tvl),Barry the Butcha(Tvl),Willie Green(4ch),Joe Meeks(BD),Lamont Mitchell aka Mista,Shante Johnson Town house,Keyon(4ch)town house/hornets,Bam 1st floor 1920 no gang affiliation,A special R.I.P to Renae Baines, Beatrice Winters,and Janice Campbell We Love and Miss U And now to those who are still here, My Fam Corey Winters,Jimmie Lebop Winters(TvL),Charles(DC)Winters(Chief Tvl),Andre Dre D Dumas Winters(Tvl),James Tate,Kevin(KG)Gentry,Deon(Naked Face)Barnett(TVL),James Side Jack(Tvl),Darnell(Grimmis)(4ch Peoria),Delano Brown,Darryl Campbell(TVl),Alonzo(Boo)Campbell(TVl),Terry(Tmac)Lane(TvL),Martell thompson(4ch),Tramell Thompson(4ch),Edward(EB)Bennett(TvL),Derrick Waller,Adrian Bennett,Shawn Murphy,Sqigg and Tommy,Eugene Green aka Bushwick(4ch),Brian Meeks(4ch),Falania Humphries(4ch)Lannie,Chuckaluck,Lavontis Troop aka Bay June(Tvl),Sleepy(TVL,Bigie(TVL),Shontrell Tucker(TVL,Larky(TVL,Sco Chief (4ch)Yip Yo,Big Woo,(tvl),Thomas Small,Reggie Henderson,Antonio Hollins,Bruce Butler(4ch),Dante Butler(4ch),Leroy Butler (4ch),and for those i didn`t mention Double H for till the world blow up bricks be gone but spirits live on. 1943,1920,1936,1900,1850,141/1847,140,150,111/120 5`s up hoes Down

Edwin DeBerry: 4th Apr 2008 - 19:29 GMT

This picture means a lot to me. I was raised in 141 N Wolcott, #1302. As a matter of fact I can see our bedroom windows. While living there for 12 years until 1967, we attended Birney School and St. Malakey on Washington.

Kelly: 6th Apr 2008 - 03:05 GMT

I just finished reading There are no children here for a college psychology course. I thought it was a well written book and it sheds a lot of light into where the boys grew up. I do hope all is well with the family and if there is a way to find out how they are, that would be great. My e-mail address is:

yolanda deberry-franklin: 6th Apr 2008 - 07:42 GMT

wow, memories, memories,memories. my family and i moved into the henry horner projects when they were completed around 1956-57. i was about 4 years old at the time. we thought that we were living in what's comparable to a condo. the "project", was s neat and clean. we had great landscaping and a security guard. we moved out around 1967, when things started going bad. let's talk about successes, i went to birney elementary after transferring in the 6th grade to st. malachy catholic school. i graduated from there and finished highschool at st. patrick's girls' highschool on desplaines ave, downtown. from there i went to st. xavier university on 103rd., in chicago, and acquired my bachelor's degree. i finished my master's degree in corrections/psychology, at chicago state university. finally, i have am a leadership follow completing my studies at roosevelt university. i know many successful children who were products of the "henry horner projects". so although we may speak of pain, we must also mention joy and the successul youths that grow up in this environment. thanks to my parents and "the projects"...i am who i am today. i am grateful for the experience. i send a SHOUT OUT, to all the wonderful children now adults who grew up with me; the jacksons, johnsons, suttons, pegues, vaughs, tarvis, warrens, dews, to name a few. a lastly, a big shout out to the henry horner girls' and boys club who moulded us....much love

tasha: 19th Apr 2008 - 05:10 GMT

i curently reside in the projects the philadelphia housing auth. i go to school and have a job but still proverty stricken i believe the book portrayed good image of the projects. people who never lived in the ghetto have no idea how hard it is especially for african americans. i do believe living in the projects u have to be strong because this place is designed for my people lose. and yes the enviorment is trifilin but circumstances do put you here, yes there is trash just thrown everywhere so make your stay a stepping stone. i say to my people keep your head up take advantage of these goverment programs and save your self and our children. one.

MADI: why are my posts being deleted?

Editor:: 29th Apr 2008 - 04:00 GMT

MADI: because theyre in ALL CAPS, which is very annoying to read. please see for more information. feel free to post again, just please dont do it in ALL CAPS.


MADI: 29th Apr 2008 - 04:47 GMT

i lived at 111 n. wood apt 101 from 1960-80, i remember that there was a sense of neighborhood,i could;nt do nothing without mrs mary,mrs jackson,mrs margaret,and mrs bea dixonwho would bop me upside the head for insurance she would say, telling my momz,anyway,i came for a visit in 2001 and 111 was gone.i am doin well for myself as a singer-songwriter,and i carry with me the love/hate feelings of the horner where ever i go.and if there is anyone here who lived at 111 lemme know whar you at...

lala 111 n. wood: 1st May 2008 - 16:41 GMT

hi madi there is a horner reuion every aug i have no idea what date mostly by word of mouth most of the from 111 are there ann dixon, charles jackson, betty young the clarks, hamptons and many more.. . i am a blakeney my mother's name is earnestine brother ronald sister's sandra rochell

lala reunoin: 2nd May 2008 - 02:32 GMT

the reunoin is held at unoin park at ashland & lake street.

MADI: 2nd May 2008 - 17:52 GMT

hey lala, i remember the blakeney,you have a brother ronnie,rochelle,lived on the 2 nd floor,i am in california touring,and i hope i can get to chicago,please feel free to keep in touch,i just remember bobo

MADI: 3rd May 2008 - 20:40 GMT

hey,anyone from 111 n.wood i can be reached at gimme a shout

Edwin DeBerry: 13th May 2008 - 20:15 GMT

I remember when the Whites lived in 111 N.Wood. He went on to play with his brother in Earth, Wind and Fire. I anybody remembers me, I can be reached at
I went on to graduate from Kendall College and the University of Mass. I lived in 141 N. Wolcott. We used to sneak over to the Moody Pie Factory and play in the empty building. We also used to go to this stick factory and play.

crystal palmer: 20th May 2008 - 23:35 GMT

The henry horner reunion will be held at union park on 7/26/08.t-shirt are being sold for $10.00 regular size 2x 3x 4x 5x for 12.00 contact Anthony Wolf, Crystal Palmer, or Dwayne Tart for shirts. also there will be a fund raising event on 6/13/08 a Pre Father Day"s Stepper Set @ the Major Adams Center 125 N Hoyne (the old Y). the first 25 men will recieve a prize.Woman free before 10:00pm at the door $5.00. so come out and enjoy the fun ,if you can't make it to the fund raiser we will see you at the reunion. you can contact me at 312-743-1282 or 312-287-2005.

crystal palmer: 20th May 2008 - 23:41 GMT

ther is a public housing museum that is being fomed presently in ABLA we are looking for story furniture a things that can be place in the museum for more information you can look on the website TAKE TIME OUT AND LOOK AT THE SITE.

Michelle Byrd: 3rd Jun 2008 - 06:21 GMT

I grew up in the hornets as my generation called them,and while there were some bad situations happened there it was some very good times as well.Folks need to remember that bad events happen all over this city as well. Some of my best memories come from the place I will always call my true beginnings.The friends i acquired in henry horner I will always have and I'll never forget them.There are times that in order for me to escape out of this reality my memories take me back.

madi: 5th Jun 2008 - 04:01 GMT

i wrote this short story some years back....THE PORCH
i remember the hot summer nights and the ladies who sat on the porch
miss gladys,miss mary,my mothermiss lula,trixie,barbara,and i would listen to their laughter,
their tears,fears,and i would always get a feeling ,a feeling of community,of belonging,even though i felt the outsider,still,that porch all these years later made sense,you see,we learn from the elders,they leave us a richness that carries us to our own experiances,some of the ladies are gone now,crossed over,but they will never leave the heart and the mind...thank you to THE LADIES for letting me know where i came from,where i have been,and where i am going... 111 n. wood apt 101 the horner.......

HHRC: 10th Jun 2008 - 02:00 GMT

Hello Madi and others out there who grew up in Horner. There is indeed a reunion held every year along with other functions. For more information you visit the website The picnic is scheduled for August 2, 2008 at Maywood Forest Perserve or call the HHRC info line.

Sandra Hampton aka Sand 120, 111... 1956: 24th Jun 2008 - 21:28 GMT

RIP Alfred, Harold, Gladys, Keith Hampton

i am the grandmother of 5 of the grandchildren of lajoes older sons i have had recent contact with the family of the book. they are doing fine and getting on with their adult lives& raising there own families. i pray they grow stronger in the lord.

Devil's Advocate: 25th Jun 2008 - 17:36 GMT

There is so much injustice involved with all of the unaffordable housing in Chicago and displacement of the former residents of "the projects." Throughout this blog there is so much talk of what should and should not be done with the citizens. Something must be done, and it starts with all of us. What are we going to do about it? We need to be the change.

Snoop: 26th Jun 2008 - 14:28 GMT

reading about these buildings is one thing and living in them is a whole different story...i lived in these projects for 10 years at 120 north Hermitage and it is not like that book there are no children here that book is lame and not tellin the truth at all but in them buildings i got alot of memories so it is hard seein them like that but hey it is what it is ima alwayz love "DA HORNETZ"

Renee Harrold: 27th Jun 2008 - 20:44 GMT

I lived in 111,1957-1968 and 120 until 1972, 1847 until 1974. I, read the book there are no children here and I remember a much better time. We could sleep with our doors open. I am still very close with most of my childhood friends. In reading some of your comments I saw my mothers name Mrs margaret. She told me when I was young that they were going to tear down the projects and I called her crazy. Now I do what she started working with the people in the community. I saw a flyer today about the old and new horner at Union Park Sat: July 26, 2008 I will be there.

madi: 28th Jun 2008 - 00:56 GMT

hey renee.i am mrs simmons oldest son,how are you?write me please at

angie: 1st Jul 2008 - 11:56 GMT

Greetings to all. I'm not from chicago at all, but I have alot of family who does. We used go ride by the high rises when we we kids, and I would wonder how in the world could anyone live in a place like that. Coming from a small city our projects look like condo to the high rises in chicago. I had a cousin that lived in Robert Taylor and the residents alone treated us so bad and knew we were not from around there. I want to give it all the families on how you all seem to know each other even from the different buildings and it seem like you all were like family. Take care each and everyone of you. I too was wondering what happened to the boys in the book. Please post it if anyone knows. God Bless You All.

~Me : 3rd Jul 2008 - 14:11 GMT

I wish the best to everyone who was raised in the projects in chicago, the horners, the greens, robert taylor homes etc.... Its sad to see them tear down historical land marks and homes to thousands of people, but hopefully there will be oppurtunity for all. As a Black woman its hurts me to have to see my people kicked out of what WE ONLY KNOW... I hope good comes out of this!

ekc: 18th Jul 2008 - 03:00 GMT

Hi. I loved the book "there are no children here." Does anyone have information as to what's happened with pharoah, lafayette, lajoe, paul sr., lashawn, paul jr., terrance, the tripletts, and dawn mitchell? Please email me information at Thank you!!

Hands and Feet: 21st Jul 2008 - 13:55 GMT

Just got this today. The reality is this all started about the mid fifties or earlier. I remember moving several times before I was five years of age. This was due to depressed economics in family system. Unfortunately as well as fortunately; I experience death early in life; which accentuated the strife. I lived in two different public housing systems; with Horner being the later. This was also during my pre-teen years. I last visited 2245 while it was still standing; but had been evacuated. There were contractors surveying like vultures for a piece of carrion. As a kid I played in the hallways and on the elevators. There was little else for you when didn't have a Spaulding to shoot over at Dett School. Various entities are or could be blamed for the down fall of things in society. However; in the short of it, many of us made it through Horner,Crane, Cregier, Village, Rockwell just to name a few. I feel, with the lost a friends and aquaintances before turning 20 years of age, there is something decidedly wrong with governmental processes when allowing degradations to recurr without solutions. It appears that the Horner issues increased ten fold between 1961 and 1985 and beyond.

Before the nineties, it had been strongly suggested that I not frequent the area. I was appalled to see what had happened to 2245. Basketball,Bub, and Mr Layman are just three of so very many are responsible for how I got to this point. Horner is intregal in life. Peace to the Ject's. In remembrance to Jerry Woods, Reece, Crab, Butch, Blamp, Nasty, the Baldwins, Malley, the Stewarts, and my alltime mentor Big Mike(shakey dykes).

Much love - you can cause big Mike and I did as well as many others!!!!

myeisha: 23rd Jul 2008 - 05:54 GMT

OMG!!! I'm SO glad to see all these posts. I haven't put anything on here since August of last year and I'm just amazed at all the comments from former resident's of Horner. You guys don't know how much those satisfied my curiosity as to what happened to the Mitchells a.k.a. The Rivers family. Thank you for your brutal honesty as far as what kind of children Laffy and Pharaoh actually were. As I mentioned before, the strength of the residents of Horner is AMAZING and I can't help but applaud all of you who perservered in their own way to overcome or just survive what most of us cannot fathom. I couldn't help but notice some of the names I saw mentioned in the previous blogs. I have a few questions (for anyone who can answer them)
1. Is Raydell Davenport the child referred to as Snuggles in "There Are No Children Here"? In other words, is he LaJoe's grandchild? How did he die?
2. Does anyone know what happened to Dawn and her children?
3. Did Terrell Collins live in 1920 W. Washington in the same building with the Mitchells? (I have the documentary Legacy and I noticed they mentioned how they were leaving "1920" while they were visiting his grave)
4. Does anyone happen to know how the Collins family is doing. At the end of the video, I know Nickole got married, her Grandmother bought a house, and her mom started school. Any updates?
Please contact me: mommie_7795@yahoo...God Bless all of you and thanks again!!!

madi: 30th Jul 2008 - 14:03 GMT

what has become of the dixons?111 n wood..ann,henry,carl....

David Charles(1920): 31st Jul 2008 - 17:33 GMT

I LIVED in hh all my life and although we struggled coming up that just makes me greatful for what I have right now, and it also made me a better man,husband, and father.and even though they're gone they won't be forgotten. my brother derrick smith (Debo) my lil cuz (snuggles,marry my boyz nuke, potatoe, t-man,tripp,Bam,and lil terry.

Bay-bay: 5th Aug 2008 - 06:35 GMT

Hi Madi how are you,this is bay-bay from 111 n. wood. carl,henry and ann are doing just fine.ann and henry was at the reunion. sorry that you missed the reunion,we had good time at union park.i was really looking forward to seeing you.iam ronnie,rochelle,bobo and la-la sister,and we are the blakeney family.the clark's,mc cool's,hampton's,was at the reunion too, we all was just enjoying other,just like one big happy now you know the dixons,are ok.betty young youngest brother was there,that was your best friend wasing it d.s. madi.where are the rest of the your family,was seeing your mother every,now and then,now i dont see ms.m.simmons at all.

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