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Race and Housing in the Postwar City: - page 5 / 23

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Milwaukee 607 percent. On the West Coast, black in-migra- tions during the same two decades produced even more dramatic statistical increases: Los Angeles 425 percent, Seattle 592 percent, San Diego 721 percent, Oakland 882 percent, and San Francisco 1,425 per­ cent. Black migration to southern and border-state cities followed the same pattern: the black population of Dallas grew by 156 percent

over twenty years, percent, Baltimore

Houston by 149 by 96 percent,

percent, Washington D.C. by and Miami by 80 percent.

120 The

white population was emptying periphery, but the central cities attraction for black Americans.

out to the mushrooming suburban everywhere held out a magnetic However, all of these cities main­

tained high rates of residential segregation throughout

era.

The

midcentury

experience

of

migration

and

the postwar metropolitan

change established ty minority central

the basis cities - a

for the later emergence of many majori­ pattern commonly evident well before

the end of migrations

the twentieth century, although large Hispanic and Asian have made the situation more complex in recent decades.

Most American cities had a dual housing market - one for whites and one for blacks. As the black migration began in the 1940s, existing color lines initially remained in place, despite rising popula­ tion pressures. Consequently, severe housing congestion marked the hemmed-in black residential areas in just about every big city and many smaller ones. As families doubled-up and tripled-up in hous­ es and apartments, and as single-family residences were subdivided into multi-family units, overcrowded conditions worsened. In the "black belt" on Chicago's South Side, African American families crowded into thousands of one-room "kitchenettes," which pro­ duced higher rates of return for tenement slumlords. These central- city housing pressures eventually forced the drawing of new divid­ ing lines and the opening of new areas for black residence. Government housing policies, beginning with the national Housing Act of 1949, promoted slum clearance, public housing, and urban redevelopment, but the dual housing market remained an essential component of urban public policy well into the 1960s.'

The implementation of new urban development policies in the 1950s and 1960s had dual outcomes - they magnified patterns of

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