African American neighborhoods



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African American neighborhoods

The traditional home for the majority of African American was in the rural areas of the South. Now most African Americans are living in cities and metropolitan areas. In 1870, 80 percent lived in the rural south, and in 1970, 80 percent lived in cities (Kleniewski 197). The movement of African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North shaped and established the African Americans neighborhoods in urban areas. According to the Kleniewski, up to the 1920s urban dwelling African Americans were not highly segregated from their white neighbors and only a small proportion of urban African Americans lived in neighborhoods that were identified as black neighborhoods (197). According to historians Kusmer, Spear, and Osofsky up to early 1900s African Americans lived in all sections of major cities (Kleniewski 197).

The great migration began in 19'16 when North faced a labor shortage in the manufacturing industries. This migration began sent recruiters to the South to hire African American workers on railroad. Some migrants moved to cities, their family members and friends followed in the same chain migration. Chain migration means immigrants are recruited by family members or friends who have already emigrated to another country and who write back home offering job opportunities, loans, or even housing to their relatives (Kleniewski 179). According to Kleniewski, 400,000 African Americans leaving the South in the years of 1916, 1917, and 1918. Between 1916 to 1930 more than a million migrated to the North (199). There were some reasons for that migration. First, the legal segregation was existence in the South to 1965. Second, race terrorism. On the other hand, in the North, were not highly segregated from white neighbors. First black sociologist Dubois in his book the Philadel:ghia Negro said that the lives of African Americans in the city of brotherly love. When the African American population growth in the Northern cities, whites adopted and institutionalized social and legal practices to keep the races as separate as possible (Kleniewski 200). As institutionalized racism many city governments passed racial zoning that defined the boundaries of the "black belt." This type legislation, however, was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1917. After that many areas adopted the practice of placing racially restrictive covenants were beginning in the 1920s and were common until 1948.

Besides zoning regulation and racially restrictive covenants other practices whites adopted to control the integration of the races (Kleniewski 200). For example, property owner association. The association eventually turned to violence to prevent blacks from crossing the color line. Arson, bombing, and mob raids on the homes of African Americans who moved in to white areas and on the real estate agents who served them become common place. Fifty- eight bombings of black's homes occurring within a three-year period (Kleniewski 200). Public officials also took some actions to keep the races separate. In most cities local official decide to keep the public housing racially segregated and to locate the units for African American in the heart of the developing ghettos.

Ghettos are more permanent. In ghettos they stay together because they are not welcome elsewhere, their clustering becomes more involuntary. On the other hand, in an enclave a group sticks together for mutual aid and to participate in familiar institutions. According to Massey and Denton there are three fundamental differences between the immigrants enclaves and the blacks ghettos (kleniewski 201). First, immigrant's enclaves were never as ethnically homogeneous as today's African American areas are. Second, only a small proportion of members of a given ethnic group lived in ethnic enclaves, whereas the vast majority of African Americans in large cities live in them. Third, ethnic enclaves were temporary adjustments to American society and aided the group's economic mobility; in contrast, black ghettos have become permanent features of cities and do not foster upward mobility (201). Enclave is voluntary it move after two to three generation but ghettos is more permanent.

In current racial patterns of the African American neighborhoods segregation are still present. At the begging of the twenty first century, we find that racial segregation is not longer increasing neither is it noticeably decreasing. Rather, it appears that racial residential segregation has become part of the normal operation of our society. According to Kleniewski, racial patterns in residential areas vary by region and by size of the African American population. Racial segregation seems to be low in cities where African Americans are few in number (202). For example, in 1997 in New York City African American population was 3,856,000 and 19.4% African American lived in metropolitan area. On the other hand, in Los Angle African American population was 1,301,000 and 8.3% African American lived in metropolitan area.

There are a relationship between income and residential segregation. African American on the average earns less than whites and simply cannot afford to live in white neighborhoods. This segregation based on social class and also based on race. According to John Kain "a small proportion of racial residential segregation is due to income differentials between African American and white households" (Kleniewski 203). Real estate agents and mortgages lenders, as well as individual homeowners and landlords discriminate on the basis of race. These barriers produced a racially divided housing market, some times called a dual housing market. According to Kleniewski, a dual housing market exists where housing is differentially available to white and African American households.

In neighborhoods with large African American populations economic disinvestments is a major problem. Disinvestments create unemployment and small business going out. As results there is no social mobility and majority people live in under class. One form of urban disinvestments is mortgage disinvestments, or the unwillingness of lenders to grant mortgages in certain neighborhoods. It is sometimes called redlining. One Bank official is quoted as saying "Jesus Christ himself could not get a loan in Brooklyn" (Kleniewski 205). Lender frequently discriminated against African American as individuals. Data collected by the Federal Reserve Bank since 1990 indicate that African American are two and one-half to three tomes as likely to be rejected when applying for home mortgage loans than are whites (Kleniewski 206).



According to Kleniewski, two current trends that affect African American seem likely to continue: the polarization of incomes and the sub urbanization of the population. Income polarization implies that the opportunities for the impoverished African American underclass will probably not improve substantially, where as opportunities for educated African American to move into professional positions will probably continue to expand modestly. More and more working class blacks will likely be pushed into poverty as the shortage of urban jobs continues. As sub urbanization of the population will probably permit African Americans to move in to new city neighborhoods, African American will not be able to maintain the quality of life they sought by moving to those areas (kleniewski 217).
In conclusion, African Americans are faced racism everywhere. They are faced racism institutionally, non institutionally, and even by individually. Historian Allen Sear concludes that whites instituted racial segregation in Chicago because of their desire to keep African Americans from competing with them for housing and jobs (Kleniewski 200). Our society is permeated with racial distinctions and preferences the attitudes and action of African Americans and whites will continue to shape where and how people live.

Work cited ;

Kleniewski, Nancy. Cities. Change. and Conflict. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2002.
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