Looking at SW Philly fire tragedy through the eyes of the city’s Liberian community

By Newsworks Staff – The July 5 fire that claimed the lives of four Liberian-American children in Philadelphia has sparked tension between that immigrant community and the city. A history of trauma and mistrust may be feeding it.

The four children killed in Southwest Philadelphia were all 4 or younger. One was an infant.

While many Liberian community members expressed immense grief over the fatalities, some protesters alleged negligence by the city and fire department. Amanda Bergson-Shilcock of the Center for New Pennsylvanians says both reactions may have connected to trauma from the Liberian Civil War.

“The history of trauma may affect families in that they may be less trusting of government officials or others,” Bergson-Shilcock said.

Full story and audio

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