ACROSS 110TH STREET * BOBBY WOMACK & PEACE * UA 35512 * UK
Original recorded for the 1972 'blaxploitation' film of the same name Across 110th Street, directed by television journeyman Barry Shear and staring Anthony Quinn. It was also used by the vastly overrated film director Quentin Tarantino in one of his better films the 1997 L.A. noir, Jackie Brown. In the song,110th Street [New York] is characterized as the dividing line between the affluence of the largely white upper Manhattan and, what was then, the largely poor Afro American district know as Harlem. Things however have changed since Bobby Womack wrote the song because in the last couple of years Harlem - like many other working class inner-city and poorer urban areas - it has been undergoing the scourge of gentrification. Amongst those who profit from the process of changing the finical and social status of working class communities (in effect destroying them and eliminating any chance of natural improvement for the indigenous inhabitants) are property developers and politicians. Ex American president Clinton - who, along with his wife (a former lawyer for the multinational retail conglomerate Wal-Mart) was himself involved in what many took to be very dodgy deals known as the Whitewater property dealings scandals - established offices in a top floor space on Harlem's 125th Street in a blaze of publicity and self promotion in 2001. Three years on and Harlem, the spiritual home for millions of Afro Americans, is changing fast; property prices are soaring, forcing many of its previous residents out, and large retailers including Disney and H&M have opened on, err, 125th Street.
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