Hi, I read your article on Waterloo — “The 10th Worst City for African Americans in the U.S. has a Story — This is How the Dream Derailed” and would like to point out some things that you should maybe take into consideration if you decide to pursue the subject. I was born in Waterloo and lived there from 1950–1973 (last four years in out of state college). So I lived through some of the things you mentioned in your article. I am proud to be from Waterloo and have a lot of good memories.
The demise of Rath Packing, which succumbed more to competition than anything else, was a big negative influence. A lot of the Black community was dependent on Rath’s. However, you can’t leave out that the city was racially divided— East Side, West Side, etc. — and the police were/are a big part of the problem.
Also there were a few more people involved in the struggle to keep the Dream alive — Dr. & Mrs. Nash (yes my parents) the Furgersons (my relatives), other leaders in the local NAACP, the work done by the Jesse Cosby center. You mentioned some very important ones but there were others.
Thanks for the article. Let’s hope that the new Mayor is instrumental in solving some of the problems.