How Race and Poverty Intersect to Prevent Integration: Destabilizing Race as a Vehicle to Integrate Neighborhoods
The persistence of housing segregation in the face of legal and other societal efforts to promote integration has been the subject of intense academic debate and scholarship. Most of the "early" scholarship' focused on the efficacy of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and subsequent amendments. Much of the recent scholarship has focused on the failure of the Fair Housing Act to address the problem and the persistence of, indeed the increase in, residential segregation in the United States over the last twenty years. Although there are many theories explaining the persistence of residential racial segregation in contemporary American society, there is agreement that this problem has not improved since integration was adopted as a philosophy in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education.
Although an exhaustive analysis of the reasons for the increase in residential segregation is outside the scope of this Article, it is beyond peradventure that racism and poverty are identified as two factors that contribute to the continuing existence of hypersegregation. Hypersegregation results in the creation of ghettos and other similarly designated neighborhoods in which the vast majority of urban Blacks' live. This Article explores the interaction between racism and poverty and the effect this interaction has on the consignment of Blacks to segregated, substandard housing. My thesis, however, differs from those traditionally presented.