Life Styles in the Black Ghetto

Life Styles in the Black Ghetto

Life Styles in the Black Ghetto

Life Styles in the Black Ghetto

Excerpt

"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line," W. E. B. DuBois predicted at the turn of the century, "the relation of the darker to the lighter races of man in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea."

The trend of contemporary affairs—the emergence of China, the development of new nations in Africa, and the domestic crisis of America—has amply borne out Du Bois's prophecy. Although we recognize the interrelation of these events (black nationalists, for example, look to Africa for inspiration), we have chosen in this volume to examine "the problem of the color line" as it exists in our nation.

We have further limited ourselves to an analysis of the urban Negro, for undoubtedly the most significant change in American Negro life has been the unprecedentedly rapid and sweeping Negro migration to the cities. This change has had many effects: housing segregation has actually increased because of urban migration; the move to the cities (as sociologist Lee Rainwater has pointed out) may well have contributed to the break-up of Negro families; and, as Thomas Pettigrew has noted, urbanization has entailed more school segregation. And then, of course, there are the riots—that apparently distinctive characteristic of American cities in the 1960's.

This concern with the urban Negro is neither new nor unique. Ideologists, demagogues, a Presidential commission—and many fine scholars—have addressed themselves to . . .

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