Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City
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Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In Black on the Block, Mary Pattillo—a Newsweek Woman of the 21st Century—uses the historic rise, alarming fall, and equally dramatic renewal of Chicago’s North Kenwood–Oakland neighborhood to explore the politics of race and class in contemporary urban America.

There was a time when North Kenwood–Oakland was plagued by gangs, drugs, violence, and the font of poverty from w...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 6th 2007 by University Of Chicago Press
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Isaac Holloway
Mary Pattillo does us all a service in writing this text. As central cities are becoming fashionable again and gentrification and neighborhood change become more and more a significant concern for the Black populations of these central cities, Pattillo investigates the varied layers of social interactions and how they influence the process of neighborhood change using the North Kenwood-Oakland Community of Chicago as a case study.

Pattillo positions 2 ideas in this text: 1) that class difference...more
This is my first shot at using this system, so if I say or do something wrong I beg your forgive-itude!

I am a closeted urban sociologist/historian who has found his way out of the Halls of UC into the construction trades. I make my living as an electrician. But I have been addicted since the first time I read Boss to all things political and ethnic and social and historical and demographic and chicago-ish. I guess that's a mouthful.

I loved this book. I am hard pressed for time so wont get into a...more
This is a masterful study on gentrification and the construction of the black community from the participant-observationist standpoint of an African-American sociologist on the South Side of Chicago. The combined use of ethnography, historical contextualization, sociological data and legal precedence give this book a thorough and diverse perspective on what racially homogenous gentrification can/does look, as well as how the (forced) brokers/gentry/middle-people that act as agents in this urban...more
Pattillo focuses her attention on the North Kenwood-Oakland neighborhood on the South side of Chicago. She provides a strong critique of the Chicago housing failures. Her role of researcher can be called into question as she is writing about the area she lived in. She also had ties to a neighborhood organization and was a university professor which raised her to a higher socioeconomic class than the rest of the neighborhood. Her arguments (while valid) are not unbiased.
Fantastic look at an aspect of gentrification that people often don't see or understand. The conflict between middle class black moving into a lower class black neighborhood. A detailed look at the relationships, the history, economics, and politics that occur within a neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago. A brilliant book by a gifted researcher.
Very fascinating study on something rarely discussed: black-on-black regentrification. Much like Black Flight, this is something people don't even want to acknowledge exists. I could hardly put the book down, but I'm that kind of nerd.
"Middle-class and poor blacks fight over small territory while some whites oversee the brawl and others excuse themselves from participation by moving even further from areas of significant racial and/or economic diversity."
A patronizing view of gentrification from a gentrifier.
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