Alden Loury

Data Projects Editor, WBEZ/Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times

Jobs can be a source of inspiration, but opportunities are diminishing for young Black people in the Chicago area, Alden Loury writes.
In the five months since July, the city has seen the sharpest spike in robberies in 20 years, driven by crimes committed with a weapon.
Nearly 4,900 robberies happened between July 1 and Nov. 26, a more than 55% increase compared to the previous five months. That’s the largest percentage increase in robberies between consecutive five-month periods since at least 2001.
The racial inequities in traffic stops, with Black motorists far more likely to be stopped than whites, are not the only evidence of racial suspicion and profiling that Black people experience, Alden Loury writes.
Most parents aren’t willing to gamble with their children. If they can’t find suitable schools, they’ll simply opt out of the system. And Black parents are now divesting from Chicago Public Schools, and the city, altogether.
For the first time since before the pandemic, metro Chicago posted jobless rates below 4% across three consecutive months.
In Black neighborhoods that are growing economically — including in Greater Bronzeville — Black population is on the decline. It’s almost like the only way to shatter the economic glass ceiling is for a neighborhood to shed its Blackness, Alden Loury writes.
The number of Chicagoans living over a mile away from a supermarket or superstore — a major grocer — has jumped by 63% in the past decade, a WBEZ-Chicago Sun-Times analysis found.
“I felt sympathy for my white classmate who did not get accepted into the U of I, but that sympathy has eroded over the years,” Alden Loury writes. “Affirmative action may have provided me an advantage in getting into the U. of I. But he has advantages in practically every other facet of life.”