CBANA Provides Contextual Background for Off-Broadway Hurt Village

(Inactive) Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action   (Memphis)

March 2012

As the curtain closed on the March 10, 2012 performance of “Hurt Village” at the Signature Theatre at Pershing Square in New York, patrons were invited to participate in a panel discussion moderated by award-winning journalist Esther Armah, which included Yale University sociologist Elijah Anderson, CBANA director and University of Memphis sociologist Phyllis Betts, director Patricia McGregor and playwrite Katori Hall (The Mountaintop, Hoodoo Love, and most recently, Hurt Village).   The play explores one fictional family’s experience with displacement and relocation from a public housing complex located in the neighborhood formerly known as Greenlaw-Manassas, in Memphis, Tennessee.  Hurt Village was demolished and redeveloped as “Uptown” under HUD’s HOPE VI program.   Dr. Betts provided historical and contemporary context of public housing in Memphis as a consultant to the author. 

In addition to her contribution to Hurt Village, Dr. Betts also provided background and contextual information to Michael Lewis, as he researched and wrote his New York Times Best Selling book, The Blind Side.  Dr. Betts’ work with Hall and Lewis grew out of her long time work as an evaluator for HOPE VI redevelopment in Memphis.

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