Ben belongs to Brewster Place even before the seven women do. The first black on Brewster Place, he arrived in 1953, just prior to the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Topeka decision. The Mediterranean families knew him as the man who would quietly do repairs with alcohol on his breath. He bothered no one and was noticed only when he sang "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."
As black families move onto the street, Ben remains on Brewster Place. He befriends Lorraine when no one else will. She reminds him of his daughter, and this friendship assuages the guilt he feels...
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