Race, Space and the Urban South: Then and Now
17 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 18, 2015
More than half a century after Brown v. the Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement, the cities at the heart of America’s racial conflict with itself have changed socioeconomically, culturally, and politically. While many of these changes resulted in quality of life improvements for racial minorities, there are some questions about lingering bastions of segregation in the South. Using a critical race theory (CRT) lens, in this paper we investigate four cities that were important to the Civil Rights Movement – Greensboro, North Carolina, Little Rock, Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee, and Montgomery, Alabama – to examine demographic, economic, and sociocultural trends and how they affect racial minority groups. We find that, despite considerable improvement in terms of poverty rate, unemployment, and income, Blacks continue to remain substantially behind Whites in these cities, indicating that desegregation and access to opportunity has done little to close the black-white opportunity gap.
Keywords: Segregation, Socioeconomic Outcomes, Race, Opportunity
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