;

urban history


  • Latino Activists Changed San Antonio in the 1960s

    by Ricardo Romo

    San Antonio in the 1960s faced many of the same challenges of cities throughout the South; its emerging Mexican American political leadership helped steer the city in a progressive direction. 



  • Some Escaped Slavery Without Escaping the South

    by Viola Franziska Müller

    The majority of people escaping slavery before Emancipation never crossed the Mason-Dixon line, finding a measure of freedom in southern cities. 



  • Atlanta's BeltLine Project a Case Study in Park-Driven "Green Gentrification"

    by Dan Immergluck

    Although the ambitious combination of multiuse trails and apartment complexes "was designed to connect Atlantans and improve their quality of life, it has driven up housing costs on nearby land and pushed low-income households out to suburbs with fewer services than downtown neighborhoods."



  • The Romance of the Highway Obscures Harm to Communities of Color

    by Ryan Reft

    Secretary Pete Buttigieg's comments that interstate construction entrenched racial segregation were denounced as "woke" by critics. But history shows that highway planners knew that such consequences were likely to ensue, and proceeded anyway. 



  • An Oral History of Riker's Island

    An oral history of New York's notorious jail is chaotic and difficult, but could an account of the place be any different and be true? 



  • NY Mayor's Proposal to Lock Up Mentally Ill Has Long History

    by Elliott Young

    The impulse to heal the mentally ill has long battled the impulse to lock them up as a threat to the society. Eric Adams is trying to do the latter while claiming to do the former. 



  • Black Family History Opens New Archives

    by Paula C. Austin, Catherine Nelson and Donna Payne Wilson

    Paula Austin's history of Black Washington depended on the knowledge and memorial work of generations of Black families, who have preserved history that is not kept in traditional archives. 



  • Mike Davis Forced Readers to Embrace Specificity

    by Gabriel Winant

    The recently deceased radical scholar never allowed the particularity of historical moments to disappear under theoretical abstraction, which made his work powerful and compelling. 



  • Immigrant Merchants and Law-and-Order Politics in Detroit

    by Kenneth Alyass

    The Chaldean community of Detroit became a significant middleman-minority through the operation of small stores in working-class and majority-Black neighborhoods. As white flight and disinvestment created increasingly dire conditions, they also became a constituency for aggressive policing. 



  • The Tyranny of the Maps: Rethinking Redlining

    by Robert Gioielli

    The four-color mortgage security maps created by New Deal-era bureaucrats and bankers have become a widely-known symbol of housing discrimination and the racial wealth gap. But does the public familiarity with the maps obscure the history of housing discrimination? And what can historians do about that?



  • Black-Brown Solidarity has been Elusive in Los Angeles

    by Erin Aubry Kaplan

    For decades, the increasing Latino presence in previously Black neighborhoods in South Los Angeles has raised concerns about political representation and hopes for a cross-racial movement for a more just city. Recent leaked city councl tapes show things are far from settled. 



  • Mike Davis, 1946-2022

    by Jon Wiener

    "Mike hated being called “a prophet of doom.” Yes, LA did explode two years after City of Quartz; the fires and floods did get more intense after Ecology of Fear, and of course a global pandemic did follow The Monster at Our Door."



  • The Limits of Nonprofit Urban Development in Boston

    by Claire Dunning

    In Boston, nonprofit agencies became the principal vehicle for redevelopment. While they could empower residents of poor communities to compete for grants and negotiate with city authorities, they couldn't make a deep impact on inequality in the city and let city agencies off the hook for discriminatory policies.