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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I 13 Residential Segregation and Neighborhood Conditions in U.S. Metropolitan Areas Douglas S.Massey Social scientists have long studied patterns of racial and ethnic segregation because of the close connection between a group’s spatial position in society and its socioeconomic well-being. Opportunities and resources are unevenly distributed in space; some neighborhoods have safer streets, higher home values, better services, more effective schools, and more supportive peer environments than others. As people and families improve their socioeconomic circumstances, they generally move to gain access to these benefits. In doing so, they seek to convert past socioeconomic achievements into improved residential circumstances, yielding tangible immediate benefits and enhancing future prospects for social mobility by providing greater access to residentially determined resources. Throughout U.S. history, racial and ethnic groups arriving in the United States for the first time have settled in enclaves located close to an urban core, in areas of mixed land use, old housing, poor services, and low or decreasing socioeconomic status. As group members build up time in the city, however, and as their socioeconomic status rises, they have tended to move out of these enclaves into areas that offer more amenities and improved conditions—areas in which majority members are more prevalent—leading to their progressive spatial assimilation into society. The twin processes of immigrant settlement, on the one hand, and spatial assimilation, on the other, combine to yield a diversity of segregation patterns across groups and times, depending on the particular histo-
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I ries of in-migration and socioeconomic mobility involved (Massey, 1985). Groups experiencing recent rapid in-migration and slow socioeconomic mobility tend to display relatively high levels of segregation, whereas those with rapid rates of economic mobility and slow rates of in-migration tend to be more integrated. When avenues of spatial assimilation are systematically blocked by prejudice and discrimination, however, residential segregation increases and persists over time. New minorities arrive in the city and settle within enclaves, but their subsequent spatial mobility is stymied, and ethnic concentrations increase until the enclaves are filled, whereupon group members are forced into adjacent areas, thus expanding the boundaries of the enclave (Duncan and Duncan, 1957). In the United States, most immigrant groups experienced relatively few residential barriers, so levels of ethnic segregation historically were not very high. Using a standard segregation index (the index of dissimilarity), which varies from 0 to 100, European ethnic groups rarely had indexes of more than 60 (Massey, 1985; Massey and Denton, 1992). Blacks, in contrast, traditionally experienced severe prejudice and discrimination in urban housing markets. As they moved into urban areas from 1900 to 1960, therefore, their segregation indices rose to unprecedented heights, compared with earlier times and groups. By mid-century, segregation indices exceeded 60 virtually everywhere; and in the largest Black communities they often reached 80 or more (Massey and Denton, 1989b, 1993). Such high indices of residential segregation imply a restriction of opportunity for Blacks compared with other groups. Discriminatory barriers in urban housing markets mean individual Black citizens are less able to capitalize on their hard-won attainments and achieve desirable residential locations. Compared with Whites of similar social status, Blacks tend to live in systematically disadvantaged neighborhoods, even within suburbs (Schneider and Logan, 1982; Massey et al., 1987; Massey and Fong, 1990; Massey and Denton, 1992). In a very real way, barriers to spatial mobility are barriers to social mobility; and a racially segregated society cannot logically claim to be “color blind.” The way a group is spatially incorporated into society is as important to its socioeconomic well-being as the manner in which it is incorporated into the labor force. It is important, therefore, that levels and trends in residential segregation be documented so that this variable can be incorporated fully into research and theorizing about the causes of urban poverty. To accomplish this, presented here is an overview and interpretation of historical trends in the residential segregation of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians.
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I LONG-TERM TRENDS IN BLACK SEGREGATION Massey and Hajnal (1995) examined historical trends in Black segregation at the state, county, municipal, and neighborhood levels. Their interpretation focused on two specific time periods—pre-World War II; 1900 to 1940; and postwar, from 1950 to 1990. Table 13–1 presents their data1 on the geographic structure of Black segregation and racial isolation during the earlier period. Because of data limitations, segregation or isolation at the municipal level during this early period could not be measured. As Table 13–1 shows, Blacks and Whites were distinctly segregated from one another across state boundaries early in the twentieth century. In 1900, for example, 64 percent of all Blacks would have had to move to a different state to achieve an even distribution across state lines, and most Blacks lived in a state that was 36 percent Black. These figures simply state the obvious, that in 1900, some 90 percent of Blacks lived in a handful of southern states, which contained only 25 percent of all Whites (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1979). The isolation index shows that in the South, most Blacks lived in rural counties that were approximately 45 percent Black, yielding a high degree of segregation and racial isolation at the county level as well. The dissimilarity index for 1900 reveals that nearly 70 percent of all Blacks would have had to shift their county of residence to achieve an even racial distribution across county lines. At the beginning of this century, for Blacks, the typical residential setting was southern and rural; for Whites it was northern and urban. Under conditions of high state- and county-level segregation, race relations remained largely a regional problem centered in the South. Successive waves of Black migration out of the rural South into the urban North transformed the geographic structure of Black segregation during the twentieth century, however, ending the regional isolation and rural confinement of Blacks. From 1900 to 1940, the index of Black-White dissimilarity fell from 64 to 52 at the state level and from 69 to 59 at the county level. Black isolation likewise dropped from 36 to 24 within states, and from 45 to 32 within counties. The movement of Blacks out of rural areas, however, was accompa- 1 Residential segregation was measured using the index of dissimilarity, and racial isolation was measured using the P* index (Massey and Denton, 1988). The index of dissimilarity is the relative number of Blacks who would have to change geographic units so that an even Black-White spatial distribution could be achieved. The P* index is the percentage of Blacks residing in the geographic unit of the average Black person.
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I TABLE 13–1 Indices of Black-White Segregation Computed at Three Geographic Levels, 1900 to 1940 Years 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 Between states Dissimilarity 64 65 61 54 52 Isolation 36 34 30 25 24 Between counties Dissimilarity 69 70 66 60 59 Isolation 45 43 38 33 32 Between wards Dissimilarity Boston — 64 65 78 79 Buffalo — 63 72 81 82 Chicago — 67 76 85 83 Cincinnati — 47 57 73 77 Cleveland — 61 70 85 86 Philadelphia — 46 48 63 68 Pittsburgh — 44 43 61 65 St. Louis — 54 62 82 84 Average — 56 62 76 78 Isolation Boston 06 11 15 19 — Buffalo 04 06 10 24 — Chicago 10 15 38 70 — Cincinnati 10 13 27 45 — Cleveland 08 08 24 51 — Philadelphia 16 16 21 27 — Pittsburgh 12 12 17 27 — St. Louis 13 17 30 47 — Average 10 13 23 39 — SOURCE: Massey and Hajnal (1995). nied by their progressive segregation within cities. Although we lack indices of Black-White dissimilarity for 1900, research has demonstrated that Blacks were not particularly segregated in northern cities during the nineteenth century. Ward-level dissimilarity for Blacks in 11 northern cities circa 1860 had average indices of approximately 46 (Massey and Denton, 1993). By 1910, however, the eight cities listed in Table 13–1 had an average index of 56, and the level of Black-White dissimilarity increased sharply
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I during each decade after 1910, suggesting the progressive formation of Black ghettos in cities throughout the nation. As Lieberson (1980) has shown, the growth of Black populations in urban areas triggered the imposition of higher levels of racial segregation within cities. Before the U.S. Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional in 1916, many U.S. cities actually passed apartheid laws establishing separate Black and White districts. Thereafter, however, segregation was achieved by less formal means (see Massey and Denton, 1993:26–42). Whatever the mechanism, the end result was a rapid increase in Black residential segregation, with the neighborhood segregation index rising from 56 to 78 between 1910 and 1940, a remarkable increase of 39 percent in just three decades. The combination of growing urban Black populations and higher levels of segregation could only produce one possible outcome—higher levels of Black isolation. In 1900, the relatively small number of urban Blacks and the rather low level of Black-White segregation resulted in a low degree of racial isolation within neighborhoods. Among the eight cities shown in Table 13–1, the average isolation index was just 10; the typical urban Black resident lived in a ward that was 90 percent non-Black. Moreover, the index of isolation did not vary substantially from city to city. Urban Blacks early in the century were quite likely to know and interact socially with Whites (Massey and Denton, 1993:19–26). Indeed, on average they were more likely to share a neighborhood with a White person than with a Black person. By 1930, however, the geographic structure of segregation had changed dramatically, shifting from state and county levels to the neighborhood level. The average isolation index was now 39 in neighborhoods, indicating that most Black residents in the cities under study lived in a ward that was almost 40 percent Black. In some cities, the degree of racial isolation reached truly extreme levels. The transformation was most dramatic in Chicago, where the isolation index went from 10 in 1900 to 70 in 1930, by which time, moreover, the dissimilarity index had reached 85. Similar conditions of intense Black segregation occurred in Cleveland, which by 1930 displayed a dissimilarity index of 85 and an isolation index of 51. During the first half of the twentieth century, therefore, Black segregation was characterized by countervailing trends at opposite ends of the American geographic hierarchy. As Blacks and Whites became more integrated across states and counties, and as the regional isolation of Blacks declined, progressively higher levels of segregation were imposed on Blacks within cities. The regional integration of Blacks was accompanied by neighborhood segregation in the creation of urban ghettos that caused higher indices of segregation at the neighborhood level. In the course of this shift, however, one outcome remained constant: White
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I exposure to Blacks was minimized. The only thing that changed was the geographic level at which the most extreme indices of segregation occurred. Table 13–2 shows trends in Black segregation and racial isolation during the decades following World War II. In addition to indices computed at the state, county, and neighborhood levels, data permit a series of measures to be computed at the city level. These computations are based on cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants and measure the degree to which Blacks and Whites reside in separate municipalities. From 1950 to 1970, the move toward integration at the state and county levels continued as Black out-migration from the South accelerated after World War II. At the state level, the Black-White segregation index dropped from 42 in 1950 to 28 in 1970, and at the county level from 52 to 47. Over the same period, the degree of Black isolation decreased from 20 to 16 at the state level, and from 27 to 23 in counties. As a result, from 1900 to 1970, macro-level segregation largely disappeared from the United States. Indices of Black segregation and racial isolation at the state level were cut in half, with segregation going from 64 to 28 and isolation from 36 to 16. Through a process of out-migration and regional redistribution, Blacks and Whites came to live together in states and counties throughout the nation. By 1970, race relations were no longer a regional problem peculiar to the South; race relations became a salient issue of national scope and importance. The integration of Blacks at the state and county levels culminated around 1970, when Black migration from the South waned and then reversed, causing state-level indices to stabilize. After 1970, the index of Black-White dissimilarity at state levels remained fixed at 28, while Black isolation held virtually constant at 16 or 17. At the county level, indices of Black-White dissimilarity varied narrowly from 46 to 48, while the degree of Black isolation increased slightly from 23 to 26. At the neighborhood level, however, Black segregation continued to increase from 1950 to 1970, although at a decelerating pace that reflected the high level of racial segregation already achieved. The average dissimilarity index for the 12 metropolitan areas shown in Table 13–2 stood at 77 in 1950, rising to 81 in 1960, and 83 in 1970. Throughout this period, the average index of Black isolation stood at 67, indicating that most Black urban dwellers lived in a census tract2 that was two-thirds Black. Thus the 2 Tracts are relatively small, homogenous spatial units of 3,000 to 6,000 people defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census to approximate urban “neighborhoods” (White, 1987). Although the Census Bureau endeavors to maintain constant boundaries between censuses, population shifts and physical changes invariably require reclassifications that yield small inconsistencies over time. These changes, however, are unlikely to affect broad trends and patterns.
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I TABLE 13–2 Indices of Black-White Segregation Computed at Four Geographic Levels, 1950 to 1990 Years 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 Between states Dissimilarity 42 34 28 28 28 Isolation 20 18 16 17 17 Between counties Dissimilarity 52 49 47 48 46 Isolation 27 24 23 26 26 Between cities (>25,000) Dissimilarity 35 35 40 49 49 Isolation 19 24 29 35 35 Between tracts Dissimilarity Chicago 88 90 92 88 86 Cleveland 87 90 91 88 85 Dayton 87 90 87 78 75 Detroit 83 87 88 87 88 Greensboro 59 67 65 56 60 Houston 71 79 78 70 67 Indianapolis 77 80 82 76 74 Milwaukee 86 86 91 84 83 Philadelphia 71 76 80 79 77 Pittsburgh 69 75 75 73 71 San Diego 65 69 83 64 58 Average 77 81 83 77 75 Isolation Chicago — 84 86 83 84 Cleveland — 80 82 80 81 Dayton — 78 73 65 62 Detroit — — 76 77 82 Greensboro — 64 56 50 56 Houston — 73 66 59 64 Indianapolis — — 65 62 61 Milwaukee — — 74 70 72 Philadelphia — — 68 70 72 Pittsburgh — 47 54 54 53 San Diego — 42 42 26 36 Average — 67 67 63 66 SOURCE: Massey and Hajnal (1995).
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I geographic structure of segregation that emerged early in the century was fully formed and stable by 1970. Whites and Blacks were integrated at the state and county levels, but segregated at the neighborhood level. Of the 12 metropolitan areas shown in the table, 9 had tract-level dissimilarity indices in excess of 80 in 1970, and 8 had isolation indices of 66 or more. By the end of the Civil Rights era, the geographic isolation of urban Blacks, on the neighborhood level, was nearly complete. Although the number of cases examined here is small, the trends are consistent with those established by Massey and Denton (1987), based on a larger sample of metropolitan areas. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 theoretically put an end to housing discrimination; however, residential segregation proved to be remarkably persistent (Massey and Denton, 1993:186–216). Among the 12 cities shown in Table 13–2, the average segregation index fell slightly from 1970 to 1990, going from 83 to 75, but Black isolation indices hardly changed. Scanning trends among individual metropolitan areas, it is difficult to detect a consistent pattern toward residential integration between 1970 and 1990, although Frey and Farley (1994) report some movement toward integration in smaller metropolitan areas, particularly those containing small Black populations, military bases, universities, or large stocks of post-1970 housing. Despite the relative stability of segregation achieved by 1970 at the state, county, and neighborhood levels, a remarkable change was occurring at the city level. From 1950 onward, Blacks and Whites were becoming more and more segregated across municipal boundaries. After 1950, Blacks and Whites not only tended to live in different neighborhoods; increasingly they lived in different municipalities as well. After 1950, in other words, Blacks and Whites came to reside in wholly different towns and cities. From 1950 to 1980, the index of Black-White dissimilarity increased from 35 to 49 at the municipal level, a change of 40 percent in just 30 years, a shift that was remarkably similar to the rapid change observed in neighborhood-level segregation during the early period of ghetto formation. Black isolation went from an index of 19 to 35 at the municipal level, an increase of 84 percent. By the end of the 1970s, the average Black urban dweller lived in a municipality that was 35 percent Black; and one-half of all urban Blacks would have had to exchange places with Whites to achieve an even municipal distribution. The emergence of significant municipal-level segregation in the United States reflects demographic trends that occurred in all parts of the urban hierarchy—in nonmetropolitan areas as well as central cities and suburbs. In 1950, there were no predominantly Black central cities in the United States. Among cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, none had a Black percentage in excess of 50 percent. By 1990, however, 14 cities
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I were at least 50 percent Black, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Gary, Newark, New Orleans, and Washington; together they were home to 11 percent of all Blacks in the United States. In addition, another 11 cities were approaching Black majorities by 1990, with percentages ranging from 40 percent to 50 percent, including Cleveland, St. Louis, and Oakland. Among cities with populations of 25,000 or more, only two municipalities in the entire United States were more than 50 percent Black in 1950, both in the South; but by 1990 the number had increased to 40. Some of these cities—such as Prichard, Alabama; Kinston, North Carolina; and Vicksburg, Mississippi—were located in nonmetropolitan areas of the South. Others—such as Maywood, Illinois; Highland Park, Michigan; and Inglewood, California—were suburbs of large central cities in the North and West. RECENT TRENDS IN BLACK SEGREGATION Table 13–3 shows indicators of Black residential segregation for the 30 U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest Black populations. As in Tables 13–1 and 13–2, these data are used to evaluate racial segregation from two vantage points. The first three columns show trends in the indices of spatial separation between Blacks and Whites using the index of dissimilarity, and the next three columns show trends in indices of Black residential isolation. The indices for 1970 and 1980, from Massey and Denton (1987), are metropolitan areas based on 1970 boundaries. Indices for 1990, from Harrison and Weinberg (1992), are based on 1990 geographic definitions. White and Black Hispanics were excluded, by both sets of researchers, from their subject sets of Whites and Blacks, and both sets of researchers computed indices using tracts as units of analysis. Among the northern metropolitan areas shown, there is little evidence of any trend toward Black residential integration. Black segregation indices averaged about 85 in 1970, 80 in 1980, and 78 in 1990, a decline of only 8 percent in 20 years. Dissimilarity indices more than 60 are generally considered high, whereas those between 30 and 60 are considered moderate (Kantrowitz, 1973). At the rate of change observed between 1970 and 1990, the average level of Black-White segregation in northern areas would not reach the lower limits of the high range until the year 2043. At the slower rate of change prevailing from 1970 to 1980, it would take until 2067. As of 1990, no large northern Black community approached even a moderate level of residential segregation. Indeed, in most metropolitan areas, racial segregation remained very high throughout the 20-year period. Dissimilarity indices were essentially constant in seven metropolitan areas—Cincinnati, Detroit, Gary, New York, Newark, and Philadelphia; in seven others—Buffalo, Chicago,
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I TABLE 13–3 Trends in Black Segregation and Isolation in the 30 Metropolitan Areas with the Largest Black Populations, 1970 to 1990 Dissimilarity Indices Isolation Indices Metropolitan 1970a 1980a 1990b 1970a 1980a 1990b Northern Boston, MA 81.2 77.6 68.2 56.7 55.1 51.2 Buffalo, NY 87.0 79.4 81.8 71.2 63.5 68.1 Chicago, IL 91.9 87.8 85.8 85.5 82.8 83.9 Cincinnati, OH 76.8 72.3 75.8 59.1 54.3 61.0 Cleveland, OH 90.8 87.5 85.1 81.9 90.4 80.8 Columbus, OH 81.8 71.4 67.3 63.5 57.5 52.5 Detroit, MI 88.4 86.7 87.6 75.9 77.3 82.3 Gary-Hammond-E.Chicago, IL 91.4 90.6 89.9 80.4 77.3 84.2 Indianapolis, IN 81.7 76.2 74.3 64.5 62.3 61.0 Kansas City, MO 87.4 78.9 72.6 74.2 69.0 61.6 Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA 91.0 81.1 73.1 70.3 60.4 69.3 Milwaukee, WI 90.5 83.9 82.8 73.9 69.5 72.4 New York, NY 81.0 82.0 82.2 58.8 62.7 81.9 Newark, NJ 81.4 81.6 82.5 67.0 69.2 78.6 Philadelphia, PA 79.5 78.8 77.2 68.2 69.6 72.2 Pittsburgh, PA 75.0 72.7 71.0 53.5 54.1 53.1 St. Louis, MO 84.7 81.3 77.0 76.5 72.9 69.5 San Francisco-Oakland, CA 80.1 71.7 66.8 56.0 51.1 56.1 Average 84.5 80.1 77.8 68.7 66.1 68.9 Southern Atlanta, GA 82.1 78.5 67.8 78.0 74.8 66.5 Baltimore, MD 81.9 74.7 71.4 77.2 72.3 70.6 Birmingham, AL 37.8 40.8 71.7 45.1 50.2 69.6 Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX 86.9 77.1 63.1 76.0 64.0 58.0 Greensboro-Winston Salem, NC 65.4 56.0 60.9 56.1 50.1 55.5 Houston, TX 78.1 69.5 66.8 66.4 59.3 63.6 Memphis, TN 75.9 71.6 69.3 78.0 75.9 75.0 Miami, FL 85.1 77.8 71.8 75.2 64.2 74.1 New Orleans, LA 73.1 68.3 68.8 71.3 68.8 71.9 Norfolk-Virginia Beach, VA 75.7 63.1 50.3 73.5 62.8 55.9 Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL 79.9 72.6 69.7 58.0 51.5 51.0 Washington, DC 81.1 70.1 66.1 77.2 68.0 66.7 Average 75.3 68.3 66.5 69.3 63.5 64.9 aIndices are from Massey and Denton (1987). bIndices are from Harrison and Weinberg (1992).
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis—small declines still left Blacks extremely segregated. All the latter metropolitan areas had dissimilarity indices exceeding 70 in 1990, and in four cases, the index was more than 80. No other ethnic or racial group in the history of the United States has ever, even briefly, experienced such high levels of residential segregation (Massey and Denton, 1993). A few metropolitan areas experienced significant declines in the level of Black-White segregation between 1970 and 1990, although the pace of change slowed considerably during the 1980s, compared with the 1970s. In Columbus, Ohio, for example, Black-White dissimilarity fell by more than 10 index points from 1970 to 1980 (from 82 to 71), but then dropped by only 4 points through 1990. Likewise, San Francisco dropped from 80 to 72 during the 1970s, but went to just 68 by 1990. The only areas that experienced a sustained decline in Black-White segregation across both decades were Los Angeles and Boston; but in each case, the overall index of segregation remained well within the high range. The drop in Los Angeles probably reflects the displacement of Blacks by the arrival of large numbers of Asian and, particularly, Hispanic immigrants (Massey and Denton, 1987). By 1990, for example, Watts, the core of the 1960s Black ghetto, had become predominantly Hispanic (Turner and Allen, 1991). The arrival of more than a million new immigrants in Los Angeles County between 1970 and 1980 put substantial pressure on the housing stock, and increased intergroup competition for residential units, especially at the low end of the market, leading to considerable neighborhood flux and residential mixing (Frey and Farley, 1996). When large Black communities are subject to high levels of segregation, intense racial isolation is inevitable. In 1990, six metropolitan areas—Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Gary, New York, and Newark—had isolation indices of 80 or more, meaning that most Black people lived in neighborhoods that were more than 80 percent Black. Detailed analyses of neighborhoods show, however, that this overall average is misleading, because it represents a balance between a small minority of Blacks who reside in highly integrated neighborhoods and a large majority of Blacks who live in all-Black neighborhoods (Denton and Massey, 1991). Moreover, in four of the six metropolitan areas, the level of Black isolation actually increased between 1970 and 1990. In other northern areas, the prevailing pattern of change in racial isolation was one of stability, with shifts of less than 5 percent from 1970 to 1990. The average isolation index of 68.9 in 1990 was virtually identical to the index of 68.7 observed two decades earlier; in other words, 20 years after the Fair Housing Act, Blacks were still unlikely to come into residential contact with members of other groups. The large ghettos of the North
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I and women from ages 15 to 30, Massey and Shibuya (1995) found that young men who live in neighborhoods of concentrated male joblessness are more likely to be jobless themselves, controlling for individual and family characteristics, and that Black women in such neighborhoods were significantly less likely to get married. Massey and Shibuya (1995) also linked concentrated disadvantage to higher probabilities of criminality, a link well-documented by Krivo and Peterson (1996) using aggregate data. The concentration of criminal activity that accompanies the concentration of deprivation accelerates the process of neighborhood transition and, for Blacks, resegregation (Morenoff and Sampson, 1997); it also helps drive up rates of Black-on-Black mortality, which have reached heights unparalleled for any other group (Almgren et al., 1998; Guest et al., 1998). The spatial concentration of crime presents special problems for the Black middle class, who must adopt extreme strategies to insulate their children from the temptations and risks of the street (Anderson, 1990; Patillo, 1998). The quantitative evidence thus suggests that any process that concentrates poverty within racially isolated neighborhoods will simultaneously increase the odds of socioeconomic failure within the segregated group. People who grow up and live in environments of concentrated poverty and social isolation are more likely to become teenage parents, drop out of school, achieve low educations, earn lower adult incomes, and become involved with crime—either as perpetrator or victim. One study has directly linked the socioeconomic disadvantages suffered by individual minority members to the degree of segregation they experience in society. Using individual, community, and metropolitan data from the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas in 1980, Massey et al. (1991) showed that group segregation and poverty rates interacted to concentrate poverty geographically within neighborhoods, and that exposure to neighborhood poverty subsequently increased the probability of male joblessness and single motherhood among group members. In this fashion, they linked the structural condition of segregation to individual behaviors widely associated with the underclass through the intervening factor of neighborhood poverty, holding individual and family characteristics constant. As the structural factor controlling poverty concentration, segregation is directly responsible for the perpetuation of socioeconomic disadvantage among Blacks. THE ROAD AHEAD This review yields several well-supported conclusions about residential segregation in the United States at the end of the twentieth century.
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I First, the extreme segregation of Blacks continues unabated in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, and is far more severe than anything experienced by Hispanics or Asians. Second, this unique segregation can in no way be attributed to class. Third, although Whites now accept open housing in principle, they have yet to come to terms with its implications in practice. Whites still harbor strong anti-Black sentiments and are unwilling to live with more than a small percentage of Blacks in the neighborhood. As a result, declines in Black-White segregation have been confined almost entirely to metropolitan areas where few Blacks live. Fourth, color prejudice apparently extends to dark-skinned Hispanics, and discrimination against both Blacks and Afro-Hispanics is remarkably widespread in U.S. housing markets. Through a variety of deceptions and exclusionary actions, Black access to housing in White neighborhoods is systematically reduced. Fifth, White biases and discrimination apparently do not extend to Asians or light-skinned Hispanics, at least to the same degree. In no metropolitan area are Asians or Hispanics hypersegregated; and despite the recent arrival of large numbers of immigrants and rapid rates of population growth, they display levels of segregation and isolation that are far below those of Blacks. Sixth, as a result of segregation, poor Blacks are forced to live in conditions of intensely concentrated poverty. Recent shifts in U.S. socioeconomic structure and patterns of class segregation have interacted with Black segregation to produce unusual concentrations of poverty among Blacks. Poor Blacks are far more likely to grow up and live in neighborhoods surrounded by other poor people than poor Whites, Hispanics, or Asians. Finally, as a result of their prolonged exposure to high rates of neighborhood poverty, Blacks experience much higher risks of educational failure, joblessness, unwed childbearing, crime, and premature death compared with other groups. Given the central role that residence plays in determining one’s life chances, these results suggest the need to incorporate the effects of racial segregation more fully into theories about the perpetuation of poverty and the origins of the urban underclass. These results also suggest the need to incorporate desegregation efforts more directly into public policies developed to ameliorate urban poverty. All too often, U.S. policy debates have devolved into arguments about the relative importance of race versus class. The issue, however, is not whether race or class per-
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I petuates the urban underclass, but how race and class interact to undermine the social and economic well-being of Black Americans. Public policies must address both race and class issues if they are to be successful. Race-conscious steps need to be taken to dismantle the institutional apparatus of segregation, and class-specific policies must be implemented to improve the socioeconomic status of Blacks. By themselves, programs targeting low-income Blacks will fail because they will be swamped by powerful environmental influences arising from the disastrous neighborhood conditions that Blacks experience because of segregation. Likewise, efforts to reduce segregation will falter unless Blacks acquire the socioeconomic resources that enable them to take full advantage of urban housing markets and the benefits they provide. Eliminating residential segregation will require the direct involvement of the federal government to an unprecedented degree, and two departments—Housing and Urban Development, and Justice—must throw their institutional weight behind fair-housing enforcement if residential desegregation is to occur. If the ghetto is to be dismantled, HUD, in particular must intervene forcefully in eight ways. HUD must increase its financial assistance to local fair-housing organizations to enhance their ability to investigate and prosecute individual complaints of housing discrimination. Grants made to local agencies dedicated to fair-housing enforcement will enable them to expand their efforts by hiring more legal staff, implementing more extensive testing programs, and making their services more widely available. HUD should establish a permanent testing program capable of identifying realtors who engage in a pattern and practice of discrimination. A special unit dedicated to the regular administration of housing audits should be created in HUD under the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Audits of randomly selected realtors should be conducted annually within metropolitan areas that have large Black communities, and when evidence of systematic discrimination is uncovered, the department should compile additional evidence and turn it over to the Attorney General for vigorous prosecution. Initially these audits should be targeted to hypersegregated cities. A staff should be created at HUD under the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to scrutinize lending data for unusually high rates of rejection among minority applicants and Black neighborhoods. When the rejection rates cannot be explained statistically by social, demographic, economic, credit histories, or other background factors, a systematic case study of the lending institution’s practices should be initiated. If clear evidence of discrimination is uncovered, the case should be referred to the Attorney General for prosecution, and/or an
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I equal-opportunity lending plan should be conciliated, implemented, and monitored. Funding for housing-certificate programs, authorized under Section 8 of the 1974 Housing and Community Development Act, should be expanded, and programs modeled on the Gautreaux Demonstration Project or the Move to Opportunity Program should be more widely implemented. Black public-housing residents in Chicago who moved into integrated settings through this demonstration project have been shown to have had greater success in education and employment than a comparable group who remained behind in the ghetto (see Rosenbaum et al., 1988; Rosenbaum and Popkin, 1991; Rosenbaum, 1991). Given the overriding importance of residential mobility to individual well-being, hate crimes directed against Blacks moving into White neighborhoods must be considered more severe than ordinary acts of vandalism or assault. Rather than being left only to local authorities, they should be prosecuted at the federal level as violations of the victim’s civil rights. Stiff financial penalties and jail terms should be imposed, not in recognition of the severity of the vandalism or violence itself, but to acknowledge the serious damage that segregation does to our national well-being. HUD should work to strengthen the Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement, a pact between HUD and the National Association of Realtors, instituted during the Ford Administration. The agreement originally established a network of housing resource boards to enforce the Fair Housing Act with support from HUD; during the Reagan Administration, funds were cut and the agreement was modified to relieve realtors of responsibility for fair-housing enforcement. New regulations also prohibited the use of testers by local resource boards and made secret the list of real estate boards that had signed the agreement. In strengthening this agreement, this list should once again be made public, the use of testers should be encouraged, and the responsibilities of realtors to enforce the Fair Housing Act should be spelled out explicitly. HUD should establish new programs and expand existing programs to train realtors in fair-housing marketing procedures, especially those serving Black neighborhoods. Agents serving primarily White clients should be instructed about advertising and marketing methods to ensure that Blacks in segregated communities gain access to information about housing opportunities outside the ghetto, whereas agents serving primarily Black clients should be trained to market homes throughout the metropolitan area, and instructed especially in how to use multiple-listing services. HUD officials and local fair-housing groups should carefully monitor whether realtors serving Blacks are given access to multiple-listing services.
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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I The Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at HUD must take a more active role in overseeing real estate advertising and marketing practices, two areas that have received insufficient federal attention in the past. Realtors in selected metropolitan areas should be sampled and their advertising and marketing practices regularly examined for conformity with federal fair-housing regulations. HUD should play a larger role in ensuring that Black home seekers are not systematically and deliberately overlooked by prevailing marketing practices. For the most part, these policies do not require major changes in legislation. What they require is political will. Given the will to end segregation, the necessary funds and legislative measures will follow. For America, failure to end segregation will perpetuate a bitter dilemma that has long divided the nation. If segregation is permitted to continue, poverty inevitably will deepen and become more persistent within a large share of the Black community, crime and drugs will become more firmly rooted, and social institutions will fragment further under the weight of deteriorating conditions. As racial inequality sharpens, White fears will grow, racial prejudices will be reinforced, and hostility toward Blacks will increase, making the problems of racial justice and equal opportunity even more insoluble. Until we decide to end the long reign of American apartheid, we cannot hope to move forward as a people and a nation. REFERENCES Allport, G. 1958 The Nature of Prejudice. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor. Almgren, G., A.Guest, G.Imerwahr, and M.Spittel 1998 Joblessness, family disruption, and violent death in Chicago: 1970–1990. Social Forces 76:1465–1494. Anderson, E. 1990 Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Bertram, S. 1988 An Audit of the Real Estate Sales and Rental Markets of Selected Southern Suburbs. Homewood, Ill.: South Suburban Housing Center. Blalock,H.M., Jr. 1967 Toward a Theory of Minority-Group Relations. New York: Wiley. Bobo, L., H.Schuman, and C.Steeh 1986 Changing racial attitudes toward residential integration. Pp. 152–169 in Housing Desegregation and Federal Policy, J.Goering, ed. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Bobo, L., and C.Zubrinsky 1996 Attitudes on residential integration: Perceived status differences, mere in-group preference, or racial prejudice? Social Forces 74:883–909.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: