Chapter

“Forbidden Neighbors”

in Places of Their Own

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780226896410
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226896267 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226896267.003.0005
“Forbidden Neighbors”

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In addition to using municipal regulations to exclude African Americans, suburban officials exercised discretionary powers to move or eliminate those who were already there. As suburbs sprawled outward, they pushed the unregulated rural fringe further from the central city, making it less accessible to blue-collar African Americans, who faced the double injury of discrimination in suburban employment as well as housing. Zoning changes reclassified working-class residential areas—so-called “slum pockets”—for commercial use, leading to the eventual displacement of inexpensive housing by businesses and other nonresidential users. Throughout the postwar period, numerous suburbs used state and federal funds to demolish African American communities and redevelop them for other uses.

Keywords: municipal regulations; African Americans; slum pockets; suburbs; communities

Chapter.  5998 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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