Why do so many African-Americans live in dense, urban areas?

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  1. Who is John Galt? profile image56
    Who is John Galt?posted 8 years ago

    Why do so many African-Americans live in dense, urban areas?

    If conditions are so bad in the inner-city, what is it that is keeping them there?

  2. Lisa HW profile image66
    Lisa HWposted 8 years ago

    Whether African-American or any other ethnicity, people who live in bad areas often live there because they are trapped there by lack of sufficient income.

    In my area, suburbs have mostly single-family homes. An average house may run in the area of $375,000, with nicer than average homes running well beyond a half million dollars.  Tiny, two-bedroom, "fixer-uppers" can occasionally be found for just under $300,000 (and usually require thousands of dollars in renovations).  Apartments are "luxury apartments", and an average monthly rent may run in the area of $2,000.

    There is often little or no public transporation, and in many suburbs there is often little, if any, industry.

    It isn't much different in better city neighborhoods.  In fact, better city neighborhoods are often more expensive than average suburban neighborhoods.  People usually either need a good, high, income or else a second income (from a spouse) in order to be able to afford to live somewhere decent.

    For anyone who can't work or can't find more than a minimum wage job (as well as for people who work and have an ok/sort-of income but not a good enough income), it's close to impossible to find a place to live, and it often requires living in an apartment/condo that's big enough to share with a roommate.

    Throw in some of the other factors that play a role in severely bad neighborhoods (single parents, bad schools, quitting school to work, and any number of other disadvantages; and consider that Welfare housing is often centered around low-income neighborhoods, where "Section 8" housing is common; and consider that Welfare won't pay more than a certain amount for any one person, and it should be pretty easy to see why moving from a bad neighborhood is easier to say than do.

  3. ms.truly lovely profile image35
    ms.truly lovelyposted 8 years ago

    WITH ME BEING OF THAT RACE , MABEY I CAN ANSWER THIS , I PERSONALLY THINK IT IS A COMBO OF REASONS ,FIRST OF ALL IT GOES WAY BACK INTHE DAY BEFORE YOUR GRANDMOTHER BLACKS HAD TO LIVE ON A DIFRENT SIDE OF THE BLOCK AND THROUGHOUT THE GENRATIONS THE CYCLE JUST CONTINUED IN MOST CASES . WHY DO MOST WHITE PEOPLE CHOOSE TO LIVE WAY AWAY FROM THOSE AREAS? YOU GET IN WHERE YOU FIT IN ,UNLESS GOD WANTS YOU TO LIVE ELSE WHERE, IT'S NOT SO MUCH WHERE YOU LIVE BUT HOW YOU LIVE.

  4. SOBF profile image76
    SOBFposted 8 years ago

    I have lived in the inner-city all my life and have never lived in substandard conditions. What makes you think that dense urban areas are automatically bad areas? I lived down the street from Austin Carr an All Star player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, several blocks from Chuck Taylor of tennis shoe and baseball fame, within a mile of the President of Howard University and several times a year I would run into Jesse Jackson leaving his DC apartment which was at the end of my block. This was a normal black middle class neighborhood smack in the heart of DC.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image91
      Laura Schneiderposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Bravo! I totally agree! Name any city of any reasonable size and there will be good and bad dense areas, but I don't think it's due to race: I think it's due to good or bad people.

  5. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 8 years ago

    Not everyone can afford to move and live wherever they like.

  6. Springboard profile image77
    Springboardposted 8 years ago

    From everything I've read here I get the impression that living in these dense, urban areas is considered to be a negative. It's a nasty, dirty place to live where poverty, high crime, and lower class living is rampant. I think the analysis is true. However, community is a product of citizen participation. It is a product of citizen involvement. We make it what we make it is what I'm getting at. At some point we have to draw the conclusion that if urban areas are bad, who is at fault? I think it is the people in the community who do not make an effort to thwart crime. I think it is the people of the community who do nothing to instill family values in their children's lives. I think it is the community who make excuses for their lives and their hardships and the actions they take as a result that is the problem. Why is it always everyone else's fault?

    People from the great depression suffered the same woes. I'd say they suffered worse woes. Yet they came out stronger, more determined, and they defeated the odds.

    If the people in urban communities think urban communities are bad, then its up to them to see the why and make something of it.

    It's your community. No one else's. So make it right. Get it right. There's no reason it HAS to be a bad neighborhood. The only reason anyone would want that to be true would be to justify a person's laziness or unwillingness to get things together. It makes for a good excuse.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image91
      Laura Schneiderposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I agree for the most part, but there comes a point when external intervention can help, too, such as by having open school enrollment (kids from one area can attend any other area school), soup kitchens, halfway houses, increase police support, etc.

  7. Ralph Deeds profile image66
    Ralph Deedsposted 8 years ago

    For many years blacks had difficulty buying a house in the suburbs because of discriminatory practices by real estate agents and because whites didn't make them feel welcome (That's putting it mildly!). And in many cities housing was more affordable in older downtown areas. Also, in the 1970s and 1980s many blacks adopted a separatist mentality which led them to remain in predominantly black neighborhoods. Others who could afford to do so adopted a more assimilationist outlook and moved to the suburbs where schools and housing were better.

  8. mintinfo profile image75
    mintinfoposted 8 years ago

    First off, urban areas are inexpensive to live. Secondly most inner city Blacks are trapped in a cycle of poverty initially caused by racism and segregation that bred a psychological low achieving state of mind. No it doesn't affect all because many have and continue to break the cycle while many others still try and fail. Besides sports and entertainment it is difficult for poor Blacks to get higher education which will enable them to live a better life outside of the inner cities.

  9. commisioner profile image56
    commisionerposted 8 years ago

    I AM NOT AN "AFRICAN AMERICAN" BUT HAVE LIVED IN THESE NEIGHBORHOODS. IT REALLY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE AND WHERE I LIVED HAD MANY WHITES, BLACKS AND ORIENTALS. IT WAS A GOOD MIX OF MANY GOOD PEOPLE AND A FEW BAD ONES. I WAS IN AN AREA THAT WAS 80% WELFARE. MOST OF THE PEOPLE CHOOSE A WAY OF LIFE THAT COULD NOT GET THEM BETTER JOBS OR INCOME. DRUGS, ALCOHOLISM AND OTHER SELF IMPOSED WOES KEEP THEM THERE. I FIT IN BECAUSE I DID NOT JUDGE OR DEMEANOR ANYONE NOR THEY TO ME. I BELIEVE IN MY HEART THAT IF WE LOSE THE PREFIXES I.E. "AFRICAN- AMERICAN" OR "NATIVE-AMERICAN" AND SO ON WE WOULD COME OUT OF THE PIT WE SEEM TO KEEP DIGGING. WE ARE AMERICAN AND IF WE CHOOSE TO AND WORK HARD ENOUGH, EVEN THE MOST LOWLY OF US CAN BUILD A GOOD LIFE. LET'S JUST GET ALONG AND MOVE FORWARD. IF SOMEONE DARKER OR LIGHTER THAN YOU MOVES NEXT DOOR, GET TO KNOW THEM BEFORE YOU "MISJUDGE" THEM. THEY MIGHT TURN OUT TO BE YOUR BEST FRIEND. MAYBE EVEN YOUR BLESSING YOU'VE ASKED FOR. THE HELP YOU MAY HAVE NEEDED TO GET YOU OUT OF A BAD LIFE. MY WIFE AND I ARE ON THE POOR SIDE BUT WE HAVE ALL WE WANT. A NICE MOBILE HOME IN A RELATIVELY QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD WITH A FENCE AND A POOL(ABOVE GROUND). WE KNOW MANY WELL TO DO AND VERY RICH PEOPLE WHO DON'T SHARE OUR HAPPINESS. I TRY TO HELP THEM MANY TIMES. AND THEY HAVE HELPED US MANY TIMES.

  10. Doc Snow profile image95
    Doc Snowposted 7 years ago

    "The Great Migration" of the mid-twentieth century.

    African-Americans left the South in droves to find economic opportunity, greater personal security and some upward social mobility in the cities of the North as industrial workers.

    I would venture that people often stay in ghettos today because they can't afford higher rents elsewhere.

  11. SPLITPERSONaLiTy profile image56
    SPLITPERSONaLiTyposted 7 years ago

    We also need to consider the education factor. Many African-Americans stay in Urban communities because it's all they know. From the Grandparents down to the young children. Plus, sorry to say but it seems like other races utilize their earnings wisely while most of us African Americans are mounting 50" flat screens in the projects. Great discussion here....but I'd say the more educated we become in our surroundings, the better off we'd be.

  12. feenix profile image61
    feenixposted 7 years ago

    Most of the blacks who live in "dense, urban areas" reside in those places because that is where they choose to live. Like me (I am black and live in Harlem, NY) they really do like the action in the "dense, urban areas".

    Furthermore, there are a whole lot of people who do not want to live in such places as "Mayberry" and Beaver Cleaver's neighborhood.

  13. N.E. Wright profile image81
    N.E. Wrightposted 7 years ago

    Hum, in the '70s I lived -- with my parents and younger siblings -- in the Projects.  We moved out and into a house when I was 12 years old.  The neighborhood was lovely.  We were happy.

    The neighborhood was all white until we moved in.  Within months our neighbors began moving out.

    Once my younger brother saw a break in at our supermarket, and he called the police.  When he gave the block's cross streets the officer hung up.  My brother was really bothered by that.

    I once saw a documentary on well off African-American professionals in Atlanta who lived in beautiful neighborhoods, but when White people would be taken there to see a potential home ... they would not be interested in moving around Black people even when they learned those Blacks were doctors, lawyers, and etc. 

    Some White people are not comfortable with living around Black.  I know, because I have experienced it.

    1. Laura Schneider profile image91
      Laura Schneiderposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      It is unfortunate (!!!) that some people are STILL racially prejudiced. I long for the day when people are prejudiced against nose hair, ear wax, and other stupid stuff. N.E. Wright, I've seen the same thing happen in reverse: a white to black area.

  14. Laura Schneider profile image91
    Laura Schneiderposted 6 years ago

    Why do so many Caucasian-Americans live in dense, urban areas? If conditions are so bad in the inner-city, what is it that is keeping them there?

  15. adagio4639 profile image80
    adagio4639posted 2 years ago

    There are many towns that are known as "Sundown Towns". (Don't let us find you here after sundown). Basically there was an unwritten understanding among real estate companies to tell African/Americans that there were no houses currently for sale in these neighborhoods. I grew up in a Sundown Town in suburban Chicago. There was only one village in the western suburbs that let African/Americans move to. The high school I attended was located in that town. All the surrounding towns making up the township that fed that school were white. ALL OF THEM. It was the only integrated school in the western suburbs of Chicago. It wasn't institutionalized segregation like in the south. It was economic segregation and the Realtor's made sure that no homes were being advertised in the papers. No for sale signs appeared on lawns. The homes were listed with a realtor and that's the only way you knew if a house was for sale. When a black family inquired, they were told there was nothing available. That limited where blacks could live, and the only places available were in the inner city.

  16. Lilith Fair profile image70
    Lilith Fairposted 2 years ago

    I believe what is keeping them there, is the same thing that may have brought them there to begin with. Low-income and menial jobs with substandard pay, or in some cases no job at all. While there are certainly those who make no effort to better themselves or their lives, being poor is not usually a choice. Also, segregation is not unheard of in housing. As a native New Yorker, I can attest to the fact that New York City boroughs, as they are called, are populated largely according to one's race. Being born into an Irish-American family, I was able to live in a safe, well-kept all white neighborhood. Had my family been black, I would have been delegated to a black urban neighborhood. Many cities in our country have neighborhoods where people are segregated by race. It's a dirty and well-kept secret to some, but it exists.

  17. Say Yes To Life profile image80
    Say Yes To Lifeposted 2 years ago

    To add to what was said:  I was told that African Americans prefer city life because after slavery ended, many became sharecroppers, which wasn't much better than slavery.  They had more opportunities if they could move to a big city.  To this day, sharecroppers are among the poorest in the US, even in the world.  There's just too much room for corruption in that system.  Check out this article:
    http://www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-anoth … ecropping/
    In spite of all its problems, city life has always been a better bet for African Americans.  Apparently, a lot of them don't want any reminders of the rural past, even in the form of suburbs.

  18. CoreydDowdell profile image54
    CoreydDowdellposted 24 months ago

    It is easy to say or ask why don't they just move.  But if you barely have money to eat and pay bills due to low wages where is the money going to come from whereas you can just up and move.  In addition, once you move how are you going to afford to live in a better place if you can not get a job that is paying more than minimum wage?

  19. Bianca Tate profile image79
    Bianca Tateposted 15 months ago

    Because of slavery, Jim Crow, and the systematic racist society we still live in today. Allow me to explain...

    Please know that no black person WANTS to live in the ghetto.

    Slaves did not become free because they all of a sudden was tired of being a slave 150 years ago. They always didnt like being a slave.

    Slavery ended because the white people of the north was tired of paying for their industrial labor while the south got rich off their slaves. Slavery ended to make things fair among WHITE PEOPLE.

    Slavery didn't end because of us! Jim Crow didn't end because of us!

    Lincoln wrote the emancipation. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.

    Black people didn't make our communities the way it is. The white man built our communities they way they are.

    After slavery, they had no education, no money. The white man built the segregated communities after slavery. They were given poor schools, poor education, and poor ways of living because thy couldn't give back to the economy. And the government did not invest in them as much as they should have invested into a slave of 400 years. After slavery, they could not work in white populated work spaces or manage any white person at any job for the next 100 years.

    Talk about a MAJOR, and I do mean MAJOR set back in the economical growth in the black community.

    Our communities are not bad because of the people. Our people are bad because of the environment made for them by the people who are in charge of the economy. They are a reflection of the society that was built for them.

    Segregation ended 52 years ago.

    To put that into perspective, my 48 year old dad is the first in my lineage to be born "free." .... I'm the first in my family to ever graduate college not because they weren't smart enough. Its because it wasn't accessable to black people as e as it if for white.

    We have equal oppertunity now. But please understand it is alot harder for a black boy from the hood to be successful than a white suburb boy. And that is personal responsibility AS WELL AS governmental responsibility that is UNEQUAL in white and black communities. So they stick around.

    If a black man has the potential of being a success, but you throw him into a garbage community to grow up in, you can expect trash more often than success.

 
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