Photo of Betty Leacraft and Warren McMichael looking at artwork/quilt by Betty Leacraft at Black Space AGency



The Sharswood neighborhood in North Philly has been the focus of a lot of attention over the past few years due to some of its struggles with gentrification and redevelopment. What often gets left out of the story is Sharswood’s deep and beautiful history, the memories of its residents, and the future hopes for the community from the perspective of those who call it home. Join us for a discussion on Sharswood’s history, highlighting the legacies of historical figures who lived in the neighborhood, discussing major events on Sharswood’s timeline, and sharing information about ways to get involved in preserving these memories and legacies, as well as how we work to create a future for Sharswood that we can all be part of. Event featured presentations from:

  • Mr. Warren McMichael - President, BSCCA, lifelong Sharswood resident
  • Dox Thrash House w/ Maya Thomas
  • Community Futures Lab
  • Poetry reading by Camae Ayewa

As part of the event we asked community members:

What are your hopes for the future of North Philly?

  • Financial stability for residents
  • revitalized community with housing and opportunities for a diverse citizenry
  • To Survive
  • To see less violence and more opportunities for the youth in the neighborhood
  • Stop the violence
  • Cleaner/ more beautiful & safer
  • Cleaner,  safer,  thriving and equitable community responsive to young and old neighbors.
  • Hopefully,  it can become a safer places to live.
  • Hopes for the future is that the existing community is supported and bolstered w/o allowing gentrification to negatively impact.
  • Unity
  • Equality and Prosperity
  • A renaissance of the ideas,  politics,  and culture of N Philly for humanity,  especially the peace movement,  end to gentrification
  • Peace and love one another

How long have you lived or worked in North Philly?

  • 8 yrs
  • all my life
  • 37 years
  • On and off for 6 years
  • I lived here 5 years.
  • 60 years
  • I've lived in Sharswood for 1.5 years.
  • Lifetime
  • 6 years
  • On and off for 20 years
  • I'm not from here; learned of this event from interview w/ BSCCA
  • Live in Philadelpha all my life I am 71
  • 50 years
  • 2 years
  • none
  • 2 years
  • 4 years
  • I live in Fairmount (an adjacent neighborhood)
  • 46 years

When other people outside of Philly or the media talk about North Philly, what are some ways they describe?

  • crime and violence 
  • disinvestment

What is one of your favorite memories of North Philly?

  • rich culture, history, resilience, people


Program was held in partnership with Brewerytown-Sharswood Community Civic Association (BSCCA) as part of Black Quantum Futurism Local Mean Time - BQF Black History/Futures Month Calendar.

Event was part of Local Mean Time - BQF Black History/Futures Month Calendar

Meantime (n; adverb) the time before something happens or before a specified period ends

Mean time (n) - time that is based on the motion of the theoretical mean sun