Chapter

In America's Heartland

Jennifer F. Hamer

in Abandoned in the Heartland

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780520269316
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950177 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520269316.003.0004
In America's Heartland

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East St. Louis is in the suburbs of America's heartland. Suburban spaces are growing at much faster rates than central cities in terms of household income, business growth and development, falling rates of unemployment, and digital access. The city of East St. Louis was established as an industrial suburb, and was developed to promote and protect particular industrial interests. Its government operated primarily to protect investment and industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Great Depression hit East St. Louis particularly hard before the industrial demands of World War II sparked a resurgence. East St. Louis is the city with the highest percentage of African Americans in the nation, but it has a population of just under 30,000. A range of housing remains today in East St. Louis; however, abandoned or deteriorated businesses, multifamily dwellings, and single-family homes dot almost every block and neighborhood.

Keywords: East St. Louis; America; heartland; industrial suburb; Great Depression; housing; African Americans

Chapter.  9529 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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