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Don’t rewrite history to make East Baltimore redeveloper the good guy | READER COMMENTARY

Jonathan Marvel, left, of Rogers Marvel Architects, explains his firm's design for a new public school planned for the East Baltimore Development Inc. renewal area to Ryheem Brown, 7, of Baltimore and his great-grandmother Joyce Bess, right, during an open house at East Baltimore Community School. File. (Steve Ruark/Special to The Baltimore Sun).
Jonathan Marvel, left, of Rogers Marvel Architects, explains his firm's design for a new public school planned for the East Baltimore Development Inc. renewal area to Ryheem Brown, 7, of Baltimore and his great-grandmother Joyce Bess, right, during an open house at East Baltimore Community School. File. (Steve Ruark/Special to The Baltimore Sun). (Steve Ruark/Photos Special to The Sun)

The reported claim by East Baltimore Development Inc. that residents who remained in the area after redevelopment began “were relieved to move away from a neighborhood in distress” is just a convenient fiction to make them look good (”East Baltimore developers break ground on final, largest phase of Towns at Eager Park project,” Sept. 10).

I remember the emphatically voiced opinion of a youth who lived in that area 20 years ago: “They are pushing us out!” He knew very well whom he meant by “they” and “us,” and he felt none of the groveling gratitude EBDI would like us to believe it produced.

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It is unsurprising that few of those forced out some two decades ago are interested in “returning” now. Presumably, they have made lives for themselves in other neighborhoods, and more power to them. What is surprising is that anyone ever believed there would be interest in return after so long a time.

The whole project was founded on a falsehood. Like most urban renewal, it was by and for the middle class. The poor, like those in a Charles Dickens novel, were merely moved on.

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Katharine W. Rylaarsdam, Baltimore

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