Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 385
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 385
XIV. The Band Begins to Play
  “NOTHING in this world of ours is settled until it is settled right.” From the moment we began the fight for the children’s play there was but one ending to that battle; but it did seem sometimes a long way off, never farther than when, just four months ago, the particular phase of it that had seemed to promise most was officially stamped as nonsense. The playgrounds on top of the big schoolhouses, which were to be the neighborhood roof-gardens of our fond imaginings, were “of little use,” said the school committee that had them in charge. The people wouldn’t go there. So, then, let them be given up. And a school commissioner with whom I argued the case on the way home responded indulgently that some of my notions “were regarded as Utopian,” however sincerely held.
  Let me see, that was in May. The resolution I speak of had passed the Committee on Care of Buildings on April 18. 1 Today is the 20th of
Note 1. On the day it was published the newspapers reported the killing in the streets of three children by trucks. [ back ]



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