Woman Who Took Back Her Streets

Rita Webb Smith, Author, Tony Chapelle, With New Horizon Press $19.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-88282-065-1
Smith, divorced mother of six and a native New Yorker, became increasingly concerned as drug dealers and abusers took control of her block on 143rd Street in Harlem. The turning point came in 1979 when her son David was shot in the face by an ``enforcer.'' Here with CNN associate producer Chapelle, she tells how she organized first the residents of her building and then the neighborhood to rid the area of druggies, all the while keeping up pressure on the law enforcement system to capture her son's attacker, who was tried and found guilty of attempted murder in the second degree and two other charges. With the help of the police and public officials, who, she found, would act if prodded sufficiently, Smith turned her block into an urban model. This spirited book about a courageous, persevering woman ends with judicious advice for others who would like to follow Smith's successful battle plan. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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