Vivian Jenkins-Nelsen: A Strain of Hope

Mrs. Jenkins-Nelsen opened up her home on Thomas Avenue for a breakfast interview. Her home, the second farm house on the land that would later become the Homewood development, was filled with warmth and beauty. We talked about moving into Homewood as a part of the first wave of new residents after the disturbances, as she would call them, on Plymouth Avenue over cereal and clementines. The Nelsen's were very important in the organization of Homewood, with George helping to start the Willard-Homewood Organization and Vivian working as a social worker at Phyllis Wheatley Community Center and various universities in the area. We discussed the community’s response to changes over the last 40 years including the civil rights work of the 80s, recovery from the tornado in 2011, and her hopes for future police/community relations and economic development in Homewood.


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