Gilbert Osofsky’s Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto paints a grim picture of inevitability for the once-exclusive neighborhood of Harlem, New York. Ososfky’s timeframe is set in 1890-1930 and his study is split up into three parts. His analysis is convincing in explaining the social and economic reasons why Harlem became the slum that it is widely infamous for today, but he fails to highlight many of the positive aspects of the enduring neighborhood, and the lack of political analysis in the book is troubling.
In “Part One: The Negro and the City,” Osofsky describes the early Black neighborhoods of New York City, in the lower parts of Manhattan: from Five Points, San Juan Hill, and the Tenderloin. He describes the state of …show more content…
Many of the established, middle class Blacks did not want to be associated with the Black migrants of the south, who they saw as lazy, loud, abrasive, and of poor moral character. Despite these tensions, many Blacks formed fraternities, organizations, and charities to help better the situation of the Black migrants. Osofsky reminds us that these Black communities were often limited to a few city blocks, and teeming with buildings overcrowded with Blacks, thus creating a need for more space or a bigger neighborhood.
In “Part Two: The Making of a Ghetto,” Osofsky shifts from a macro-study of Black migration in the United States, to a micro-study of Harlem, a remote neighborhood approximately eight miles from City Hall. He describes how Harlem was once a town sparsely populated by an affluent bunch that wanted to be as far away as possible from downtown. But like most of New York, Harlem’s growth was what Osofsky called “a by-product of the general development of New York City.” He attributes this growth to the annexation of Harlem to New York City and the subsequent developmental projects the city undertook in Harlem, such as filling in marshlands and extending transportation lines to the rural retreat of the aristocrats of New York City.
With this development came many land speculators. It was widely known that with transportation comes a greater demand for the land being developed. Developers built rows of luxury
Although it took almost fifty years after the American Revolutionary War was over, on July 4th and 5th, 1827, African American New Yorkers celebrated the passage of legislation that would finally free them from the bondage of slavery (11). In her book, In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863, Leslie M. Harris’s thesis is that class status was essential in the development of the black community in New York City from the moment they landed on Manhattan Island in 1626 (14). Harris also argued that the issue of slavery and emancipation of blacks in New York was an item that was brought up constantly, but elite white New Yorkers always hesitated on implementing legislation due to their constituent’s reliance on slave labor, their elite racist views of blacks (in general) as inferior (96), and the
Black Movements In America is written by Cedric J. Robinson, who is a professor of Black Studies and Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Robinson traces the emergence of Black political cultures in the United States from slave resistance in the sixteenth and seventeenth century to the civil rights movement of the present. He also focuses on Black resistance which was forged from a succession of quests such as The return to Africa; escape and alliances with anti-colonial Native- American resistance; and eventually emigration. This is a historical primer whose subject matter is well-indicated by the title. The Narrative focuses on the chronological poles of robinson 's ranging, chronological and compelling narrative of movements in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries maroon societies, and urban community organized during the 'late ' years of black power movements.
This question is important because it first reveals how American cities “simmered with hatred, deeply divided as always…. Time and again in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, urban white proved themselves capable of savagery toward their black neighbors…” (6). Unless documented in novels such as Arc of Justice, the deep racism and brutal mistreatment of black people in the past may fade away from memory. The question is also important because it explains how “the Sweet case did help move America away from the brutal intolerance of the
In the empirical article, “Black Philly after the Philadelphia Negro,” Marcus Anthony Hunter examines the once populated Seventh Ward and the effects that political neglect and racial barriers had on this primarily black area, which ultimately led to its urban decay. Similarly, in recent years, we see this occurring in Vesterbro, Copenhagen. However, we notice how the neglect towards Vesterbro stems from other factors such as immigration, crime, and a poor economy. Hunter examined the archives of the Seventh Ward, specifically after W.E.B. Du Bois’ initial study of the Seventh Ward. From the 1920s through the 1940s, Hunter found that the poor living conditions did not improve. Instead, they were constant, suggesting that Republican politicians neglected this black area. “This period also offers a historical window into the shifting allegiances of black Americans, and their retreat from the Republican Party and embrace of the Democratic Party” (Hunter). Hunter claimed that the shift in
Trotter, Joe William Jr., ed. The Great Migration in Historical Perspective: New Dimensions of Race, Class, and Gender. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991. A collection of essays examining the role of black social networks in spurring the exodus from the South.
Nonetheless, Africans Americans weren’t equally spatially segregated throughout Kansas City. The development of black residential segregation that occurred everywhere including KC occurred at a time when a number of factors pushed African-Americans up from the South, pulling them to different regions of this nation, which came to be known as the “Great Migration” of 1910 to 1930. Factors such as “general dissatisfaction with conditions, the boll weevil’s destruction of crops, the black press, low wages, poor housing on plantations, inadequate school facilities, rough treatment and cruelty from law officers, unfairness in the courts, lynchings, the
The first section demonstrates how formal and informal networks helped to integrate migrants into the black community. The book begins by explaining how the relatively small size of Boston’s black newly arrived immigrants influenced the development of black society and the ways the established community shaped the lives of the newly arrived. African Americans were first brought to Boston by slave traders in 1963.These first black migrants eventually replaced Native Americans held in slavery. Religious beliefs and environmental limitations ensured that Boston never became a great slaveholding center. After the mid-seventeenth century, Boston merchants were typically slave traders rather than slaveholders. Fewer than one thousand blacks resided in the city on the eve of the American Revolution. The rise of a strong abolitionist spirit among Boston’s revolutionary generation originated from a combination of expressed principles and ideals, the declining economic importance in slavery, as well as the important role Boston’s blacks played in the war effort. As a result, in 1783, the Massachusetts Supreme Court pronounced that slavery was inconsistent with the provisions of the 1780 state constitution. This decision allowed Boston’s blacks to expand their efforts to build their community. By 1800 blacks composed less than .4 percent of the residents in Boston. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, the number more than doubled to 1 percent of the city’s population. The migration
In Josh Sides’ Straight Into Compton, a nod to the infamous NWA album, the author described an in depth case study on the polarized history of the geographical and racial divide of the Los Angeles suburb of Compton. He writes about Compton in the early twentieth century, being a predominantly white neighborhood, occupied by blue collar factory works. Racial covenants of the 1920’s prevented the migration of African Americans into Compton until large scale migration occurred in the 1950’s and 60’s. It was discussed that because of the growing black population, racism and other acts were committed in order to prevent and curb this growth. The thriving city, although full of racial division, had faced daunting challenges during the 1960, as a
African- American settlement in New Rochelle before World War 2 was one of USA’s first community where emancipated blacks were allowed. The population of African American in New Rochelle, slavery and segregation and jobs for African American are topics that will be touched throughout this research paper.
For far too long, African Americans have been neglected the rights to decent and fair housing. In “In Darkness and Confusion,” William Jones expresses his discontentment with the almost cruel living conditions of the ghettos in Harlem as he stated, “It ain’t a fit place to live, though” (Petry 261). William was especially motivated to move to a better home to protect his wife, Pink’s, ailing health. William and Pink searched high and low for more decent places to live – however, they simply could not afford decent. Though marketed to those with lower than average incomes, the ‘better’ housing for blacks were still deficient and extremely pricy. In
This investigation will analyze to what extent did negative racial encounters in the 1950’s caused the white fight to the suburbs.African Americans began moving into Chicago in great numbers following the Great Depression. Tensions arose as they moved into the city, which sparked many whites to move into neighboring suburbs such as the ones highlighted on the map to your right.(Ebony Magazine 18) Following the great population change were negative racial encounters and segregation.This exhibit will inform others of the point of views of both sides of the White Flight in America beginning in the 1950s.
During the late sixties and early seventies drugs and crime were rated Harlem’s top concerns in the black community. At this point, the black silent majority could see the impact that the drugs and crime were placed on the city that they resided in. There were obvious signs of social insecurity, and urban decay around the homes of the black silent majority. Representative Charles Rangel stated, “There was almost unanimous consent that narcotics is our number one problem, followed by housing and lack of State and City Services.” (Fortner, 2015). It is obvious that drug addiction affected the city, but more specifically, addicts stood as a threat to the churches, businesses, and civil organizations within the city limits.
During the twentieth century more than six million African Americans migrated from rural communities in the South to large cities in the North and West. One of the major causes of this widespread movement was for African Americans to escape the segregation policies known as the Jim Crow laws, racism, and to seek better civil and economic opportunities. They migrated to the northern and western big cities because employment agents in the North and Midwest began enticing African-American men and women to migrate north by offering to paying for their travel expenses. The high demand for workers, higher pay, better education and better housing options in the North sounded very appeasing to many African-Americans since their current living conditions in the south were horrendous, and millions obliged to what they hoped was “a journey into freedom”.
“In one sense, we were huddled in there, bonded together in seeking security and warmth and comfort from each other, and we didn’t know it. All of us—who might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industries—were, instead, black victims of the white man’s American social system” (Malcom X, Chapter 6) The nightclubs in Harlem were described as a safe place and a family network that neutralize the overbearing energies of racism that is everywhere in the world. Members of the Harlem community were victims of racial oppression because of political reality. The autobiography is typical in describing racial oppression as well.