By Mary Pattillo
In Black at the Block, Mary Pattillo—a Newsweek Woman of the twenty first Century—uses the ancient upward push, alarming fall, and both dramatic renewal of Chicago’s North Kenwood–Oakland local to discover the politics of race and sophistication in modern city America.
There used to be a time whilst North Kenwood–Oakland was once affected by gangs, medicines, violence, and the font of poverty from which they sprang. yet within the past due Nineteen Eighties, activists rose as much as take on the social difficulties that had plagued the world for many years. Black at the Block tells the impressive tale of ways those citizens laid the basis for a revitalized and self-consciously black local that keeps to flourish this day. yet theirs isn't a story of straightforward consensus and political solidarity, and the following Pattillo teases out the divergent category pursuits that experience come to outline black groups like North Kenwood–Oakland. She explores the usually heated battles among haves and have-nots, house owners and house dwellers, and rookies and old-timers as they conflict over the social implications of gentrification. alongside the way in which, Pattillo highlights the conflicted yet an important position that middle-class blacks play in remodeling such districts as they negotiate among verified facilities of white financial and political strength and the wishes in their much less lucky black neighbors. “A century from now, while today's sociologists and newshounds are dirt and their books are too, those that are looking to comprehend what the hell occurred to Chicago can be discovering the reply during this one.”—Chicago Reader
“To see how variety creates unusual and occasionally awkward bedfellows . . . flip to Mary Pattillo's Black at the Block.”—Boston Globe
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Extra resources for Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City
Families like these were likely unaffected by the 1893 depression, at least if the ability to hire servants is any indication of financial comfort. ”14 Next door at 4434, the 1900 census listed Augusta Berg as the Swedish servant of the Reed family. S. towns. And at a time when African Americans comprised less than 2 percent of the neighborhood’s population, there were three black servants on Berkeley—Gennie Thurman from Indiana, Ellis Oglesbee from Missouri, and Martha Shephard from Alabama—all marked as “literate” on the census forms.
In 1969, the federal courts found in Gautreaux v. Chicago Housing Authority that public housing in Chicago was intentionally and illegally concentrated in black neighborhoods, and that blacks were restricted to living in these segregated projects. In the mid-1990s, a group of North Kenwood–Oakland residents waged their case against public housing by focusing on this original finding in the Gautreaux case. Concentrations of public housing in black neighborhoods levy a negative economic toll on the neighborhoods and their black residents, they argued, and thus constitute racial discrimination.
The dance is over: still embracing the dancers stumble to their seats. Waiters turn out most of the lights as the entertainment begins. Three colored girls, at the sound of the drum, leave their white partners, with whom they have been lolling at the tables, and take their places on the dance floor. Slowly, almost decorously, with a native rhythm that is not unpleasant, the dance begins. Faster and faster grows the music; more and more abandoned the dance; more colorful and definite the remarks of the audience about dancing, underwear and anatomy.
Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City by Mary Pattillo