Central Challenges Of Community Development Theory And Practice

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Political Analysis Project
Reedy M. Spigner III

Identifying and investigating the structures of community power remains one of the central challenges of community development theory and practice. Researchers have long sought to understand and measure the distribution of power in organizations, local communities, nations and around the world. “”Societies are differentiated by nominal distinctions such as ethnicity or occupation, but are also differentiated by status gradations such as income or levels of education” (McVeigh, 1995). Many communities have been developed because of social of racial identity in many instances people tend to interact and associate with individual that are from the same
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The black residents made up 36 percent of Austin’s residents by the year of 1870. Up until 1930 African Americans resided in a few different parts of the city, but in 1930 due to a passed city plan they were only able to reside in the east side of town. In 1928 a city plan was passed that designated an all “Negro District” on the side of town which is now east of I35.
In the 1950’s Austin was a segregated city in all aspects, by this I mean housing, schools, hotels, parks, and public transportation. This segregation forced African Americans to provide services for themselves. This designated “Negro District” was made up of 150 small thriving businesses and two colleges. These colleges were Tillotson College and Samuel Houston Colleges; by 1940 the African American population had grown to include 14,861 residents. However, by 1940 there was a new growing population in the Austin area; the new residents that were expanding the east section of town were the Mexican Americans. The new influx of Mexican Americans were finding resident in the east side of the city, they were relegated to the east Austin barrios. These barrios were south of eleventh street, as they began to flock to Austin in large numbers they began to thrive. By the late 1940s and early 1950’s they began to own homes and businesses, many of these businesses were restaurants. Mexican Americans also faced discrimination similar to that of the African American
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