Grigson, Rod. Sacred Tears – Siege of Beirut. 2013, http://sacredtearsbook.com.au/background-to-sacred-tears/historical-events/siege-of-beirut
In “Sacred Tears-Siege of Beirut”, Rod Grigson explains the infamous Siege of Beirut in concern to history and the effect that it had on the civilians of Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon. Primarily, this civil war was not fought on a distant battlefield far from civilization, but fought right in the backyards of many civilians. Examples, according to Grigson, included “car bombings, random shootings, planned assassinations, snipers, and unexploded shells” (Grigson 1). As a result, it can be implied that the violence took a mental toll on the civilians after only a short while, thus causing these civilians to lose hope. In relation, the Edgewood Terrace Apartments and overall Edgewood neighborhood was once seen as the “Little Beirut” area of the District of Columbia. Statistically, this area had some of the highest death rates related to drugs and the violence they brought.
Grigson’s explication on the Siege of Beirut truly electrifies the violence that plagued this area in the early 1980s and for years to come. In doing so, the historical reference of “Little Beirut” begins to make more sense, and such relations between the two areas can be drawn. While the violence in the District was not nearly what was happening in Beirut, it was not too far off of it. The area was fighting its own war with the War on Drugs, getting to the point where gunshots and screams were more often heard than birds singing or children playing. Consequently, Grigson’s article will aid in my research because of its detailed account of how a civil war drove citizens apart, and how psychologically damaging the war really was on people. The District of Columbia was fighting its own war, and this war, while not nearly what the Siege of Beirut was, it also has much relation to how people were torn apart by the plague of violence brought by drugs in Edgewood.
Sanchez, Carlos. Washington Post Staff. “Edgewood Spirit Survives Despite Area’s Changes: Sense of Community Survives Edgewood’s Changes.” The Washington Post (1974-Current File); Washington, D.C., 4 July 1987, p. E1.
In ‘“Edgewood Spirit Survives Despite Area’s Changes: Sense of Community Survives Edgewood’s Changes,” Carlos Sanchez explicates how residents in the late 1980’s Edgewood feel that a sense of community has been retained despite many social changes. Urbanization through large housing projects and the influx of changes that have come with this concern long term residents of the formerly known High Point neighborhood. One such resident, Virginia Matthews describes a new federally subsidized housing project as “the devil,” due to the change that it has brought to her neighborhood and the influx of drugs, traffic, and trash that have come into the neighborhood. Today, the Edgewood neighborhood is composed of long term residents, a sort of “yuppie” individuals, and residents in federally subsidized housing such as the one discussed in this article. This is described in the article as well, thus showing the consistency that the area has had with its residents over the years.
Sanchez’s explication on the Edgewood neighborhood makes for an interesting perspective. This article, taken from the Washington Post historical database, was written on July 4th, 1987. This was only a few years before the main violence that crack cocaine and other drugs would bring into the neighborhood in the early 1990’s. The article describes that the drugs were already coming in with the newly subsidized housing and the people that it brought. Sanchez’s perspective will aid in my research due to the fact that it gives a viewpoint before the main eruption of violence in Edgewood. Past research has revealed to me what 1990’s and onward Edgewood was like, but never pre drug war Edgewood. This will allow for comparison between the three time periods, and thus, give an internal and external view on the Edgewood neighborhood.