Monday, July 31, 2017

WBEZ: Is Notoriously Segregated Chicago Becoming More Integrated?

To really look at the point of this article, let's look at the Ashburn community of the south side. How truly integrated is this part of the city
But while the data suggests there are six more integrated communities in Chicago today than there were in the 1990s, the maps and the numbers don’t tell us if residents actually feel integrated.

That’s why we went to Ashburn, a middle-class community of 40,000 people located on Chicago’s Southwest Side. It’s almost in the suburbs, and feels like it, with row upon row of bungalow homes and manicured lawns.

Ashburn was nearly all white 27 years ago, but today it’s a mixed community of blacks, Latinos and whites. It’s also the only neighborhood in Chicago with a dominant black population to add black residents from 2000 to 2010, at a time when black people have been leaving the city in droves.

If you visited Ashburn in 1990, more than four in five Ashburn residents would have been white.

Now, it’s about half black, 38 percent Latino and 13 percent white.

Ashburn’s white population declined rapidly after black people began moving into the area in large numbers in the 1980s. Today, whites continue to leave, and blacks are still moving in, along with Latinos.
Like Chicago, Ashburn is divided by invisible racial lines.

It’s almost like there are two neighborhoods within the official community area, one predominantly black and segregated and the other largely Latino with most of the white population sprinkled in. On the east side of Ashburn, at Dan’s Soul Food, owner Dolph Norris says integration is happening in Ashburn, “but it’s basically still segregated.”

“Hispanics [mostly] live west of Pulaski, and then African-Americans live east of Pulaski,” says Norris, who is black. “And you can tell by just walking and going to the parks.”

Loury says that while Ashburn is a diverse community, he takes “integration” to mean a more substantial mixing of people of different groups.

“Essentially what we're seeing [in Ashburn] is that they're all in the same space defined by a border, but they're not necessarily living amongst one another,” he says.

You can see the divisions between blacks and Latinos on a map of Ashburn — and you can also see them by walking around the community, according to Fernando Serna, who is Mexican-American and owns an auto body shop in Ashburn.

Serna says there’s a vibe in the neighborhood he calls: “You do your thing and I do my thing.”
So two or more groups merely living in a community area but in different parts isn't integration. It's not many different ethnicities living on the same block.

Click on the link in the embed tweet below and read the whole thing.

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