No Future In Future City


Perhaps the only fate worse than being an abandoned city is being the suburb of an abandoned city, but such is the fate of the community just north of Cairo, Illinois known as Future City. Located outside the protective floodgates and levees, the all-Black community of Future City floods frequently, and has only one real landmark, a two-story night club or juke joint that on closer inspection seems to be an old and rather historic building that was probably intended for a different purpose, perhaps a Masonic lodge or a school. The reason for the name is uncertain, although there are some accounts that attribute the village’s founding to African-Americans who fled Cairo in the wake of the 1909 lynching of Will James. At least one white youth growing up in Cairo admitted many years later that as a boy he had always thought that the sign meant that people were planning to build a city there, and that he was wondering when it would ever be finished!

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