PREFACE (by Christopher Alexander & Howard Davis)
Central to this plan, is the issue of black and white. Much of the substance of our Plan, simply has to do with the creation of a process by which the people of North Omaha can create a community for themselves, can establish a stable and improved community which is economically healthy.
In one sense this is an entirely nonracial issue, which simply has to do with the right of a group of people to determine their own future, their own community. But still at the same time, the community is one which has, at present, 95 percent black people, and lies within a context of larger Omaha, which is almost white. Because this is true the task we face is centrally plunged into the heart and soul of the ambiguous, painful struggle for identity and clarity, which has existed now for two hundred years, and which for black people in America, and for white people is still unresolved, still painful, still frightening, still provokes anxiety about the future, still only reaches a stable condition in some places for some of the time.
We feel it necessary, therefore, to address this issue head on, and to speak about it directly -even on the cost of seeming gauche or embarrassing -- simply because it is the essential purpose of our plan, to help bring this condition, to a state of resolution -- to create conditions in which both the black members of the community, and the white, and both, the white folks in the city roundabout, and the black, gradually achieve a sense of identity and clarity about this issue, through the process which develops in the self-determination of North Omaha.