Suburban Segregation

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Language: English (change)

1.Authors Rosalyn Baxandall and Elizabeth Ewen discuss the tough and trying times for African Americans and the conflicts between races in suburban communities after World War 2. After the war, many people sought to start new lives, move out of busy, crowded cities, and settle into comfortable places of their own. They strove for homes and property that they could be proud of and a safe environment to raise families in. Contrary to popular belief that segregation would be eliminated between whites and blacks after the battle for democracy overseas, the majority of suburban communities were still segregated, and predominantly white. A good example of this was Freeport, New York. The Village of Freeport was a beautiful and primarily wealthy community. This area made lots of its money in the real estate industry targeting white families. Unfortunately, there was a huge setback for real estate agents- and it’s name was Bennington Park. Bennington Park was a slum in Freeport that Newsday considered “a vicious man-made jungle” and “the worst slum in New York State.” Most of the African Americans in Freeport lived in Bennington Park because of all the segregation issues that continued on after the war. The slum contained over 250 black families with most houses uncomfortably packed with six to ten people in a room. Sadly, the same poverty, segregation, and discrimination that African Americans left the South for was eagerly awaiting them when they moved to the Northern States. In 1941 a group of clergymen formed the Freeport Housing Authority to try and improve and rebuild the ghettos of Freeport. The New York State Housing Commission offered the village a 741,000 dollar loan to build 100 new housing units to replace the old ones. But the Freeport Village Board was composed entirely of...
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