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A Place to Play By Marcus L. Robinson

Submitted by Marcus Robinson

During the summer of 2013 I was out and about taking photos, and stumbled across a forgotten spot on 61st and South Halsted Street. It’s a basketball court that was for a while all abandoned and broken down, the kids called it the D. Center. Until  one day back in 2013 a group of men got together and rebuilt that old broken down basketball court and renamed it. The kids now know it as being the All Good In The Wood Center. This basketball court is a perfect illustration of what black men can do when they all come together. Joakim Noah visited this court and even played basketball with some of the kids during this past summer. While no one was around I brought Officer Ron Holt to see the court, I was hoping that the men who were responsible for building this court was out there, but they weren’t. Ron got a chance to see what they were doing because the yellow caution tape was there, and he could see where they were still painting the lines on the newly laid black top surface. “We want this court to be a safe place for our youth to come and play at all times without the city involvement ” said the men to me, who put this all together. If you drove fast along Halsted you would probably miss seeing this little basketball court, if you take the time and slow down, and look around just behind the laundry mat you will see the court and depending on the weather you just might see a full court game going on. Larry will be out there along with the rest of the old school guys, supervising the children and young adults. Unlike outside Park district courts, this court doesn’t allow any profane language being used by any one, or weed smoking of any kind on or even near the court.
they say black men don’t care about there community and youth, well they got it all wrong. Black men do care and are taking on the responsibility in the rebuilding of the hood. All it takes is a few good men with the same vision to make a difference. People in Englewood do care about their neighborhood, with Norfolk and Pacific Railroads cutting through the middle of Englewood its the ones who don’t live in here that don’t care.So the next time you are near 61st and Halsted stop by the court and go shake the hands of these brilliant black men, who spent the summer sitting out here in the heat and rain watching some one else kids and letting them be kids without the police presence, you see at park district courts. Men from all walks of life who want to give back to the hood. I would like to thank the men for trusting me and allowing me to document this through Photography. I promise that I would write about you all I know it’s late but it’s better late then never. DSC_3016 DSC_3207 DSC_4632 DSC_4492 DSC_4491 DSC_4490 DSC_9013 DSC_4414 DSC_4474 DSC_2922 DSC_2923 DSC_2933 _DSC0005 (12) DSC_0067 DSC_0020 _DSC0004 (11) _DSC0002 (12)