The Negative Effects Of Residential Segregation On African Americans In The United States

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Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton argued influentially in their book American Apartheid that “the missing link” in each of the underclass theories prevalent at the time was their “systematic failure to consider the important role that segregation has played in mediating, exacerbating, and ultimately amplifying the harmful social and economic processes they treat” (Massey & Denton, 1995, p. 7). Residential segregation has had a negative effect on African Americans in the United States for years. It puts people at a disadvantage for social and economic success. This residential segregation “was manufactured by whites through a series of self-conscious actions and purposeful institutional arrangements that continue today” (Massey & Denton, 1995, p. 2). Segregation is maintained by institutional arrangements and individual actions. This segregation seems to be the outcome of impersonal social and economic forces. “Residential segregation lies beyond the ability of any individual to change; it constraints black life chances irrespective of personal traits, individual motivations, or private achievements” (Massey & Denton, 1995, p. 3). Individuals cannot change this by themselves it is up to policymakers and the government to make a change. The “missing link” to understand the urban poor is segregation. Society has to understand that by having segregation in the U.S., we will never truly be as one instead of separated. Timothy Hart and Kim Lersch talk about Clifford Shaw and Henry

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