Hickory Hill residents blame crime and economic slump for neighborhood woes

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Several people sat in what should be - what used to be - a bustling business, but is now one of many empty stores in Hickory Ridge Mall.  The former store turned community room hosted a forum put on by council member Janis Fullilove to tackle neighborhood issues.

The mall and flight of other businesses from Hickory Hill further east into the suburbs angered many people there, especially council members Fullilove, Joe Brown, and Harold Collins who seemed to imply the mayor and some other members of the council weren't fighting for Hickory Hill.

"It takes seven votes and the seven votes don't go with us," said Fullilove.

But residents said it's not just about bringing business back, but also jobs to make sure they can support the businesses.

"Kids can't walk to the same stores you used to walk to, because of violence," said one resident. "You keep talking about bringing business back to Hickory Hill, I'm going to be honest, I don't have money to spend at businesses."

Crime peppered the conversation too, with residents not having a magic bullet for police, but saying they support any and everything they can do to clean up apartment complex crime and issues with young people.

"I just want the crime stopped, however you can do it, to let them know you mean business," said another resident.

There were no concrete plans of action, but police officers and council members were seen taking notes as residents expressed their concerns.


  • PlayOn

    This is the fruit of annexation of past and Section 8 invasion. It will never be what it was. All of you in areas this hasn’t happened to yet, you better pay attention and fight it tooth and nail, they are coming for you next.

    • not sure

      I agree Hickory Hill was a nice area until the city took over and now it looks like whitehaven. Now its called Hickory Hood. Black, White who wants to live or shop in an area that looks run down.

    • John T. Dwyer

      This is absolutely not the result of Section 8 or annexation. It is the result of taking a person of several past generations with no knowledge of how to establish a home, by saving, cleaning up, working a good job, having personal pride and social skills to acclimate into the the larger society… and throwing them into a brand new environment. It’s like taking a person with no knowledge of how to swim and tossing them into the deep end of a pool expecting them to swim.

      These people were handed these homes and opportunities with no training on how to use them. Take a look at where Lipscomb, Herenton, Lee, and others who have thrown these people to the wind in the name of making a buck. They don’t live in these areas and could care less. Fullilove can hold all the public forums and try to sell the old “vote for me and I’ll set you free” song and dances. She can bring in all the cops with the “south american junta-showed up for work decorations” dog and pony. She and the other politicians are wasting their time until they go directly into the neighborhood and show people how to wake up, clean up, and learn up, on how to survive in the business/home world. How to set a household budget. How to dress for a business interview. How to establish one’s own business.

      It has nothing at all to do with race. None what so ever!
      It does have a tremendous amount to do with economics/cash/money. The Council wants to give tax breaks to these large corporations but will not assist an 18 year old, or even a 12 year old child, learn how to establish a business, much less teach them how to count change! Not even how to fill out a job application!
      They should mandate that schools teach the basic life skills, along with the other stuff like history and science. After all, what good is learning about putting a man on the moon in history when you don’t even know how to operate a washing machine?

  • I Want Out of Memphrica

    Well, well I wonder why! When ever the police step in you people think your civil rights are violated and yell racism. When your thug son is arrested, all of a sudden he was 2 days away from solving the theory of relativity. Your neighborhood is the result of your personal interaction and responsibility. Out here in Collierville, we take pride in our community and schools along with a strong family bond.

  • Tack

    When you vote into office people like Janice Fullilove what do you expect? Its not her fault, its the people who voted her in. Change comes from within the neighborhood, not from more government aid or police as much as the people who live there. It’s time to stop blaming others and passing the buck and take responsibility (I’m talking to you too Janice).

  • donaknowsitall

    If all the residents move to others parts of the city or suburan areas, they bring their ill-behaved family with them and the cycle repeats itself.
    The reason white folks leave when blacks move in is for the most part pretty palin to see. The blacks bring the gangs (mostly because their children are in the gangs), the loud music, the parting to all hours, bad neighly manners.
    A black family moved next to me, it wasn’t more than a month, the loud music was blaring from the house, the loud voices, the garbage cans piled high next to their house and smelling to high heaven, cars parked in the yard. I moved out, still can’t sell my house though. I had to rent it out. Sorry state of affairs when others have to move out when others move in. If that is what some folks call segregation, then so be it.
    Maybe not all black families are like my once-neigbor, but in the experience I had, that is all it takes.

    • John G

      I agree with you in 2 1/2 years mine goes on sell if I cant sell,quick sell back to the bank I will be going in foreclosure I am a life long Memphian but the problem is all this did not start until “Super Willie,AC Wharton took over the reins I remember Memphis 35 years ago as being one of the safest most clean city in the usa .Forget this place more of this White Flight going Who Will Pay the Taxes once we leave.

    • Joe

      Donaknowsitall, what role do you play to assist struggling African-American youth who might be prone to joining gangs? What organizations do you volunteer with? Are you an idiot who accumulates wealth and assumes impoverished families should have the means to do the same or are you a real man/woman who gives back to those (and doesn’t expect the gov’t to do it in the form of “welfare”, which was created because of greedy wealthy people who stopped caring about the community around them so the gov’t had to step in).

    • Tack

      That is EXACTLY what happened to me in Cordova. I built a house in a nice neighborhood where everyone took car of their yards and was proud. Then some “people” moved in and started parking $1000 cars with $8000 rims in front of our houses, blasting music, getting police called for domestic disputes, and just being loud and obnoxious. Well they wash their ghetto cars religiously while not doing a think to keep the house up and nice or the yard taken care of. So eventually the neighborhood goes downhill and I had to sell my house at a lose just to get away from the car alarms and ugliness of it all. You think we are making this stuff up? NO! And you want me to help them after they made me lose tens of thousands of dollars bringing the value of my home down and making me miserable in my own home? HELL NO!

  • Terrie

    I don’t feel sorry for them. When they do not tell the police who shot who, it comes back to bite them. Never hear about a person who is really tired of the crime and who told police who shot who, end up dead so what are you scared of??? They don’t know the meaning of ‘community’. You don’t have to be an Uncle Tom to act civil! Clean up your own hood.

  • not sure

    You want crime out its simple get the section 8 out, move them back to the projects in the downtown area. Most section 8 do is leach off of us and sell dope. Some of the people on section 8 eat better and drive brand new cars, if they are so poor the government has to support them, then how do they afford these things. I know this because i see this, drive by a project around 5pm and see how many fat people are residents there.

    • Freedomwasawesome

      There is a common denominator in all this.
      Frayser, Whitehaven, Raleigh. Hickory Hill all used to be nice. And Cordova is well on its way down the tubes

  • impulse item

    Crime is a problem. But crime didn’t slip in unnoticed. It skipped school. It hung out late with it’s homies. It slept under your roof and “you” failed to notice that it looked alot like you last boyfriend!

  • Joe

    The expectation of city gov’t to fix city ethical problems is part of the problem. Many residents also do even a step worse and just move out of the city and then spout “I sure am glad I got out of that dump.”

    To fix crime, the attitude of the citizens, esp. young unmarried folks should be to get involved with organizations. There’s plenty of needs out there (Youth Villages, Neighborhood Christian Center, Streets Ministries, etc.) where services can be volunteered to tutor/mentor at-risk or struggling youth from inner-city communities. Instead of sitting around watching TV in the evenings, be a real man and go mentor a young kid.

    Helping kids will help families in areas like Hickory Hill (it will take years, maybe even decades, this isn’t anything overnight), and that will help young men and women to get good educations, find good jobs (and bring good jobs to Memphis from businesses that see an educated, on-the-rise community) and that will in-turn rebuild neighborhoods and see businesses move back to the communities.

    It doesn’t start with moving to the suburbs and complaining about Memphis. It doesn’t start with asking city gov’t to solve the problem while we sit on our butts. It starts with volunteering our time, and God will honor that commitment with growth in our churches and in our city!

    • Joe

      Mentoring and helping a youth could be all the difference from that youth going to college, or joining a gang. Moving to Collierville won’t solve the problems for that youth or the community.

  • FemaleMBA

    I have noted that a lot of the men talk about mentoring young people. Please be advised; there are very few people that are born into proverty and unrest that will ever get out because that is where they come from. During their formative years (birth-elementary school) these children are exposed to the lifestyle of the adults around them; this is what you know. Each person on here lives the life they were basically born into. If you were born with parents (mother & father) then you were born with a foundation and a foundation is what you are able to build on. Children born into homes without structure will grow without structure no matter how much mentoring is done that child will have to go back to the home they came from after being with a mentor for 1-4 hours maybe once or twice a month. Unless the adult person in the child’s life changes into a productive person and lives in a progressive environment, the child will never change. We are all aware of those precious few who do get out and lead productive lives but those are the few who took the inniative on their own to rise above it. They children had some type of influence at school or church or whereever they got it but they did it because this is what they wanted to do. A mentor cannot make you want to be somebody; only you can want to be somebody. They can only expose you to what they know and maybe show you how they got to where they are. As the old say goes “you can lead a horse to water but you cann’t make them drink”. Every child on earth is exposed to a better way of life via public media. The TV clearly shows there is another world outside of violence if you want it; those that stay want to stay and those who want to get out work hard to get out. Jobs are avialable for those who want a job; most want quick money and work hard at finding the means to get quick money. Some of the best business minds are sitting in jail; dope dealers have to know management, accounting and human resources in order to be successful at what they do. If they channeled that knowledge into getting an education and opening up a business – Hey! but oh I forgot, many of our educated, upstanding citizens and leader who live in nice neighborhoods, drive fancy cars and wear fancy clothes are also sitting in jail with them because they wanted quick money or more money whichever; these would be those that you would recommend to mentor our youth? You cann’t hold somebody’s hand and take them where you think they should go, they need to want to live better and do better on their own or it will never happen. I never had a mentor but I’m a woman with an MBA who lives in a nice neighborhood that is prodominantly white (I’m black) and will continue to move away from the scum as they continue to destroy this city right alone with some of our upstanding citizens who help them right alone. there are solutions to this problem but this city is too weak to implement them.

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