Hello, devoted readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.
First: Six community members who witnessed the unrest on 52nd Street on May 31, 2020, shared their perspectives on the day’s lasting impact.
Then: The Sixers’ Game 7 loss was one in a long line of disappointments for the team.
And: Recreation centers — where staying busy can change a young person’s life — are coming back.
P.S.: For some sweetness, I hit up one of the berry farms cherry-picked by the Things to Do newsletter that we talked about last weekend. Shout out to editor Jillian Wilson. Sign up for the Things To Do newsletter here.
On May 31, 2020, amid demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, the Philadelphia Police Department’s response to reports of chaos on 52nd Street unleashed a barrage of tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray along the business and residential corridor, long a cultural and commercial center of Black Philadelphia.
As overwhelmed officers sought backup, some in the crowd pelted police with debris; 15 were injured, one seriously enough to need emergency surgery. Police cars were set ablaze. Then there was a shift in the dynamic as SWAT teams deployed tear gas five times over three hours that afternoon along a half-mile swath, the city controller would report later, including, “down side streets where no protest or any improper activity occurred.” People fled choking clouds of tear gas, and families with young children hid from the fumes in their homes.
Six community members — including an activist, a clergyman, and a mother who hid with her children in a bathroom to escape tear gas — who witnessed the events one year ago shared their perspectives on that day and its lasting impact with reporters Jason Laughlin, Aubrey Whelan, and Oona Goodin-Smith.
Of all of the images you could have used to explain why the Sixers are where they are now, one will remain burned in the fan base’s memory: Ben Simmons, their All-Star point guard, their $30 million man, their alleged centerpiece, wearing a red T-shirt and looking on from the sidelines as guys like Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton desperately tried to pull them from the brink.
If it had to end — and it probably did, for everyone’s sanity — this was as good a way as any for the end to arrive.
Columnist David Murphy looks at the faith lost in Philly’s erstwhile Great Australian Hope and what that means for the Sixers going forward.
🆕 How to handle living in a state of discomfort.
Track the latest data on cases in the region.
Here’s what experts feel safe doing — and what they don’t.
No, you shouldn’t ask for someone’s vaccination status. Here’s what to do instead.
This is how to ease workplace anxiety.
What you need to know today
As teens get vaccinated, recreation centers that can be a lifeline for neighborhoods are reopening, providing a vital safe haven.
After teen suicides, Downingtown is trying to show struggling youth: ‘You are enough.’
COVID-19 cases have plummeted in Philly, but vaccinating the holdouts remains a struggle. Inequities also persist in several Philly zip codes, where less than a third of the residents have been vaccinated.
Officials today are expected to announce the forthcoming Center City Girls’ Academy, a plan from alumni and supporters of the shuttered John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School for a new, independent school to replace it, potentially opening this fall.
On Father’s Day, faith leaders struggled for answers to gun violence.
Owners of a historic 19th-century Germantown home want to demolish it — but neighbors want to save it.
76ers center Joel Embiid has been fined $35,000 for escalating an in-game altercation with Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
A place where friends enrich your lives. Thanks for sharing.
Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.
₿ Donations in cryptocurrency are rising among nonprofits such as Wharton and the Franklin Institute, which recently accepted its first bitcoin gift of about $62,000.
📱 The pandemic sparked local mental health advocates and grassroots groups to create and develop apps to help patients looking for therapeutic help outside of traditional forms.
🎤 Fresh off her stunning new album, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus talks about leaving Virginia for the City of Brotherly Love.
🚚 When Moshava Philly, a mobile Israeli food business, was disinvited from a Philadelphia food festival yesterday, it drew controversy, ultimately leading organizers to cancel the whole event.
“You hear that? No, not the deafening roar, and subsequent uproar, over ATVs and dirt bikes on Philadelphia streets. Lean in a little closer. That, I dare say, is the faint but growing sound of city leaders conceding that we need to find better, more creative, ways of dealing with the perennial summer nuisance,” columnist Helen Ubiñas writes that we need to build an ATV bike park.
What we're reading
Skateboarders say the sport’s culture embraces diversity, the Burlington County Times reports.
HuffPost details the ways Black immigrants in the United States are disproportionately treated unfairly by the immigration system.
A secretive safety team is helping to smooth over possible PR nightmares for AirBnb when rentals go awry, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
An elderly zoo penguin now has some comfortable shoes to help deal with the arthritis in his feet, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes.
Your daily dose of | Found Art
Whether it’s handmade books, stray cats, or vegetables, Philly’s Meei Ling Ng — who really puts the “multi” in multimedia artist — uses her surroundings as inspiration for the colorful world of art she constructs.