In part one of, City Rhetoric, by David Fleming, we are introduced to what a “true U.S. Citizen” is and how through history of race, gender, and economic background takes importance in determining a full “U.S. Citizen. Fleming argues that individuality is the base to democracy, without conflicting points of view and differences in each of the individuals backgrounds there is no true beauty to democracy. However U.S. history shows us that, “ in the domain of the political, people do not face each other as abstractions but as politically interested and politically determined persons”(Fleming, Loc.369). These limitations on abstractions produced by individuality has caused democracy to create boundaries between equal people but separating those that are “superior” in certain respects (Loc.369).
“Ghetto” the first chapter in the second part of, City Rhetoric, goes in depth how these boundaries of race, specifically to the African Americans who migrated during the late 19th and all of the 20th century to Chicago, Illinois. Boundaries created through intense rioting, violence, and chaos against the Black race, in a state who’s first settler was a merchant, son of a Haitian slave woman and a French merchant, Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable. In recent U.S. history we have seen that racial segregation has been a long lasting battle for minorities to overcome, and even though after the civil rights movement, tensions of racism still shape our societies today. There was a time were there was, “Frenchmen in the village who had fought with Napoleon at Jena and Waterloo, Yankees who had been with Andrew Jackson at New Orleans, and Indians…who had fought alongside the legendary Tecumseh…. At the Sauga- nash of every color and class were welcome; and whisky, song and dance were the great democratizers”(Fleming, Loc. 951). The settlement which once welcomed all class, culture and races at the beginning of the 19th century, had racial border forced by violence and hostility against the African American communities that started to create the black belt of Chicago, on the South Side, after a hundred years of strong black presence in the city, by 1908 black populations were gradually becoming confined to a small number of areas, were housing conditions were amongst the worst in the city (Loc.977)
The creation of divided neighborhoods in Chicago through qualities of Race, condensed the Black population of the city into terrible housing conditions that led to the creation of the “American Ghettos”. By 1923 the African American communities were so condensed that the residents of the south side paid more for rent than whites because of the housing shortage in their part of the city (Loc.1027). African Americans didn’t have to relocate just once in the history of the city. After World War Two there was another great migration of African American veterans that returned to the South and couldn’t find decent lives enduring harsh racial resentment, because of the South’s history. Blacks suffered from, “the making of the second ghetto” as they succumbed to rapid, “racial succession” white violence, urban renewal, and public housing was creating enclaves of black populations (Loc.1076).
“Ghetto” is the first stepping stone into the Authors true nature with the subject of Racial Seclusion in the history of Chicago. The in depth study of how racial segregation, which led to violence, and the establishment of island communities of blacks, gives us an understanding how less entitled citizens are obligated through force and physical boundaries to within their own communities fight against each other to survive and prosper in the United States.