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Residential Segregation and Social Justice

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Despite increased diversity across the country, America’s neighborhoods remain highly segregated along racial and ethnic lines. Residential segregation, particularly between African-Americans and whites, persists in metropolitan areas where minorities make up a large share of the population. This paper will examine residential segregation imposed upon African-Americans and the enormous costs it bears. Furthermore, the role of government will be discussed as having an important role in carrying out efforts towards residential desegregation. By developing an understanding of residential segregation and its destructive effects, parallels may be drawn between efforts aimed at combating such a grave societal problem and furthering social justice.

Although discrimination against minorities, such as Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans exists, residential segregation is imposed on African-Americans at a highly sustained level, more than any other racial or ethnic group in American society. “Blacks continue to live apart from whites; of all minorities, blacks are most segregated from whites. ‘They are also more segregated from whites than any other ethnic group has ever been segregated. The most well-off blacks find themselves more segregated than even the poorest Hispanics’” (Swain 214). Thus, it is evident that segregation imposed upon African-Americans subsists at a level that is not comparable to that experience by other minorities.

Before World War I, the nation’s cities were primarily industrial. During and after World War I, there was a demand for workers that stimulated an influx through northward migration of hundreds of thousands of southern blacks into ...

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