Calling the history of relationships between African Americans and white American citizens complicated would be an enormous stretch. Defined by centuries of slavery and oppression, it has affected the relationships between the African American community and white American citizens (Archer 173; Coates par. 7). Due to the rigid segregation policies implemented during the Jim Crow era, urban areas inhabited by white American citizens showed significantly lower urbanization rates than African American areas, whereas the housing market in the areas populated by white American citizens experienced a drastic drop in property values.
The changes observed in the urban area as the process of segregation continued could be seen as rather contradictory and difficult to parse at first. While the rapid increase in urbanization in the areas inhabited by African Americans could signify the emergence of opportunities for economic growth, poverty rates were increasing exponentially (Coates par. 14). However, on further analysis, the reason for the observed trend to have developed could be explained rather easily as a combined effect of the increasing loss of economic opportunities and the devastating impact of racial discrimination that resulted in the unavailability of most opportunities for education and employment (Rogerson and Rogerson 8). Therefore, the increasing poverty rates in African American urban neighborhoods were understandably low. In turn, with the further development of migration from Black to white communities in a significant number of African Americans, the racist perceptions of white landlords caused a drop in property values in the specified neighborhoods as well (Stern 69). Thus, segregation has affected the pace and efficacy of the urbanization process in a rather complicated manner, causing shifts in development that were quite difficult to manage.
Similarly, the relationships between citizens have also been affected highly negatively by segregation. Since the African American community was deprived of the chance to communicate and collaborate with members of the white population, the rift between the specified demographics increased exponentially, causing a further rise in racism and the development of multiple prejudices toward African American people in white Americans (Schlabach 33). While the effects of the racist laws known as the Jim Crow laws also had their toll on the economic performance in the urban context, the social implications of the specified regulations were far more drastic, creating a massive rift between the members of the African American and White communities (Schlabach 41; Coates par. 14-15). As a result, the effects of segregation still echo in the present-day social settings, complicating the relationships between African American and white citizens and determining the presence of inequality, particularly the lack of equal opportunities in education and employment and the exposure to risks of violence, for African American people.
Due to the combined effect of resilience, focus on development, and the drastic lack of resources, the levels of urbanization in African American communities in the late 1970s and early 1980s were quite high, yet increasing poverty drove African American people to other communities. The presence of racism and segregation policies in the latter type of residence areas led to a drastic drop in property values in the housing settings where African American people moved, which could be described as one of the key trends of the specified time period. The observed phenomenon indicates that racism and the focus on segregation perpetuated by negative stereotypes and discrimination lead not only to social and cultural issues but also to tremendous economic regression.
Archer, Deborah N. “The Housing Segregation: The Jim Crow Effects of Crime-Free Housing Ordinances.” Mich. L. Rev., vol. 118, 2019, p. 173.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. “The Case for Reparations.” The Atlantic, 2014, Web.
Rogerson, Christian M., and Jayne M. Rogerson. “Racialized landscapes of tourism: from Jim Crow USA to apartheid South Africa.” Bulletin of Geography. Socio-Economic Series, vol. 48, no. 48, 2020, pp. 7-21.
Schlabach, Elizabeth. “The influenza epidemic and Jim Crow public health policies and practices in Chicago, 1917–1921.” The Journal of African American History, vol. 104, no. 1, 2019, pp. 31-58.
Stern, Shai. ““Separate, Therefore Equal”: American Spatial Segregation from Jim Crow to Kiryas Joel.” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, vol. 7, no. 1, 2021, pp. 67-90.