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"Shaw in 2004"

Our (Dr Philip Olson, Nicole English, the class and me) 2004 documentary follow up on the PBS documentary "Throw Away People" from 1991 which painted the Shaw district of Washington D.C. as crime infested. We see how a "slum" with a bad reputation reworked itself.

At the airport in Baltimore we were cautioned to stay away from Shaw by well intentioned people who had probably never been there but who, nonetheless, knew Shaw by reputation. We wanted to see what had taken place in the 13 years since the PBS documentary. UMKC sociology professor Dr. Phil Olson set up the trip and Nicole English was the "tour guide," class chaperone/director and trip organizer.

We got a tour from one of the black entrepreneurs, Ernest "Pete" Peterson, who worked with the community center and his own development projects to improve the neighborhood. Pete took us all around in Shaw and introduced us to people to talk to and to visit.