All fire escapes lead back to the same block in Sugar Hill, Harlem—where kids run through hydrants and music blares from stereos plugged into lampposts. When a new resident (the story’s unnamed narrator) notices the trash polluting the picturesque streets and tainting his block’s beauty, he is spurred to action. However, his best intentions go awry when the cleanup brings media coverage that, in turn, sets off a rash of evictions and an influx of affluent tenants. In an attempt to preserve his neighborhood, he mobilizes a grassroots effort to improve matters from the inside out.
Realizing he has yet again polluted his reality with unintended consequences, his fight to clean up the block evolves into a quest to cleanse his soul. The choices he makes cannot change the past or the secrets that haunt him, but they will alter the future for himself, his family … and the last block in Harlem.
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