A closer look of Fleming’s description of the Ghetto-Reading Analysis 4

In David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric, part four discusses the Ghetto, primarily Chicago’s ghetto. He analyzes the effects of the ghetto, like gentrification,  and how this particular social space as condensed a group of people into one area in order to keep them in these low socioeconomic neighborhoods that leave little to no room for escape. Fleming quotes 1968 Kerner Commission who describes the ghetto as “an area within a city characterized by poverty and acute social disorganization and inhabited by members of a racial or ethnic group under conditions of involuntary segregation” (Fleming 150). It is clear that the ghetto has been used to keep a specific group of people excluded from the majority population. If these people do not have their own opportunities for entrepreneurship and a chance to grow their communities, there is no way they are able to compete with the majority population.

Fleming notes that the ghetto is a modernization of racial residential segregation. He explains that this has been evident with both of the great migrations. It is clear that within these cities, black people, who are already at a disadvantage due to historical background, are moved out of the cities that they have already occupied. Once the majority white population take over these cities, the black population are left to depend on those who moved them out. Those residing in these ghettos tend to rely on public housing and public assistance to continue with their lives. Since they become dependent there is no room to move up the socioeconomic ladder and leaves them in the same place they found themselves, which becomes generational.

A mural painted on logan square and Pilsen in the city of Chicago
This picture is from a protest at a metro stop for the Chicago Transit Authority. They want to stop the moving out of those who originally lived in these areas.


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