Yesterday I walked through Bessemer and Midfield, the suburbs just southwest of Birmingham. Highway 11 spreads out into a handsome four lane boulevard with a grassy median, making me think that once upon a time it made the citizens of the city proud. Now however it's been abandoned to the folks that have a hard time making ends meet. All the photos below were taken in one mall, less than 100 feet from each other.
I walked many miles of this road, encountering few other walkers and just a handful of people waiting for the bus, which comes, one rider told me, once every hour and 20 minutes. I saw people shopping in little convenience stores, picking up their children from daycare, enjoying burgers, chicken and biscuits at fast food joints. I saw endless numbers of closed shops and abandoned homes. Folks greeted me in a friendly manner and I never felt threatened, even when walking in what could be termed as 'wastelands.' But I felt a mounting outrage as today I continued to walk into Birmingham with no relief from the decay and blight.