Letters / On “The Rise and Fall of the Coops”
I just finished reading “The Rise and Fall of the Coops” and I thought it was a great, well-written article. I was born and raised in the Coops, so it brought back many memories. They really captured the true picture. Workers built these houses for a better life. The Jewish culture and history was the mainstay of the buildings and so much a part of people’s lives. When it was time for me to leave, I couldn’t just walk away from these buildings without letting the world know that they existed, so I fought for the Coops to be landmarked. Today, the Coops is a National Landmark on account of its importance to Jewish history.
The writers also just scratched the surface of the “dark secret” of the Coops: its racism. Yes, they took in Black families, but they put them all on the top floor apartments, sort of like old-fashioned segregation. This is a conversation about the Coops that we must all have. Thank you for writing this article.
The year given in the caption of the photo of the Coops kindergarten on page 102 of your Fall 2020 edition is in error. The year was 1934 or ‘35, more likely the latter. I know because I am the child seated in the front row, center, to the left of the blond youngster. In the year given, 1932, I would have been two years old, hardly able to sit up, let alone raise my right fist in the communist salute.
Los Angeles, CA