Analysis Of Black On The Block

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Since the first Africans arrived in what is now present day America in the 1500s, there has been reaffirming data supporting the importance of community to people of African descent. Despite large efforts to destroy this aspect of the African experience, many African Americans have maintained their kinships especially when the foundation is birthed from ethnic parallels. As a result of this affirmation, Dr. Mary Pattillo’s assertion on the present day black middle class and their commitment to restoring their community of North Kenwood- Oakland in her book, Black on the Block is no surprise. However, what is shocking is that the same declaration cannot be said for the African American middle class during what Dr. Pattillo deemed the ‘Black…show more content…
Pattillo’s declaration is that she provides an extremely distinct and commanding narrative surrounding the power of the black middle class ‘middlemen’ in chapter three. She asserts that these middlemen act as power brokers; the core liaison between the “man”; upper crust, well to do whites with power, and the “little-man,” the poor and mostly disenfranchised people who have little to no resources as well as those who are in need of the most assistance. With no true voice of their own and the inability to speak to or be heard by the “man,” the little-man not only relies on the middleman but heavily benefits from these agents of change who pool together their resources and use their college education, influence, philanthropic connections and collective power to bring about change that not only benefits them, but anyone else in the community they are advocating. As a result, in the most simplistic of terms, everyone wins. This train of thought is practical and believable based on Dr. Pattillo’s research. However, what is not as practical is how this same conceptual ideology is not applied to the black middle class of the ‘Golden Era’ of…show more content…
Pattillo references the benefits received by NKO as a result of its close proximity to Bronzeville, a predominantly African American community that was thriving as a black Mecca in the fifties and sixties with plentiful black businesses, which served as a safe haven for black life in Chicago. NKO was such a wondrous place that even the late Blues legend Muddy Waters called it home proving its allure. Unfortunately, when Dr. Pattillo shifts gears and provides context to the decline of NKO, she brings up the construction of the Olander Housing Projects, overcrowding as a result of subsidized housing along with increases in crime, drugs, and the rise of the poverty level. While her research is factual, she fails to mention the lack of middlemen by way of the black middle class to serve as conduits to prevent the unfortunate fate of NKO. She instead indirectly criminalizes and places blame on a number of variables specifically the residents of the projects with no mention of the emerging black middle class not using their power to evoke change in their respected
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