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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

The Politics Of Race, Class, And Gentrification In The Atl, Keith Jennings Sep 2016

The Politics Of Race, Class, And Gentrification In The Atl, Keith Jennings

Trotter Review

Methodologically, the essay uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine gentrification from a race, class, and gender perspective. Within the essay a number of the dynamics directly associated with Atlanta’s political economy and the impact those dynamics are having on issues such as affordable housing, poverty, and Black employment and underemployment are analyzed. While not a central focus of the essay, the changes taking place outside of Atlanta in several counties, as a result of the push and pull effect in the metropolitan region, are briefly discussed.


Community Land Trusts: A Powerful Vehicle For Development Without Displacement, May Louie Sep 2016

Community Land Trusts: A Powerful Vehicle For Development Without Displacement, May Louie

Trotter Review

In the Great Recession of 2007–2009, Boston’s communities of color were hit hard. A 2009 map of foreclosures looked like a map of the communities of color—Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. The one island of stability was a section of Roxbury called the Dudley Triangle—home to the community land trust of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI).

Originally established to respond to the community’s vision of “development without displacement,” the land trust model was adopted to help residents gain control of land and to use that control to prevent families from being priced out as they ...


“Separatist City”: The Mandela, Massachusetts (Roxbury) Movement And The Politics Of Incorporation, Self-Determination, And Community Control, 1986–1988, Zebulon V. Miletsky, Tomás González Sep 2016

“Separatist City”: The Mandela, Massachusetts (Roxbury) Movement And The Politics Of Incorporation, Self-Determination, And Community Control, 1986–1988, Zebulon V. Miletsky, Tomás González

Trotter Review

November 4, 2016, marks 30 years since the historic referendum in which close to 50,000 citizens of Boston living in or near the predominantly Black area of “Greater Roxbury” voted on whether the area should leave Boston and incorporate as a separate municipality to be named in honor of former South African president Nelson and Winnie Mandela, or remain a part of Boston. The new community, what planners called “Greater Roxbury,” would have included wards in much or all of the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, the Fenway, the South End, and what was then known as ...


Uncovering The Buried Truth In Richmond: Former Confederate Capital Tries To Memorialize Its Shameful History Of Slavery, Howard Manly Sep 2016

Uncovering The Buried Truth In Richmond: Former Confederate Capital Tries To Memorialize Its Shameful History Of Slavery, Howard Manly

Trotter Review

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones had the noblest of intentions.

With Virginia’s capital having a poverty rate of nearly 25 percent, no one blamed Jones, a child of the sixties and preacher by calling, for trying to develop prime riverfront property to generate revenue to create more jobs, better schools, and housing.

But when Jones unveiled a proposal in 2013 that included building a new baseball stadium near one of the city’s historic slave burial grounds in Shockoe Bottom, it was, by all accounts, troubling to historic preservationists and Black community activists. “Shameful” was one of the words ...


Book Review: Desire And Disaster In New Orleans: Tourism, Race And Historical Memory By Lynnell L. Thomas, Casey Schreiber Sep 2016

Book Review: Desire And Disaster In New Orleans: Tourism, Race And Historical Memory By Lynnell L. Thomas, Casey Schreiber

Trotter Review

Desire and Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race and Historical Memory, by Lynnell L. Thomas, challenges the racial messages embedded within dominant tourism narratives in New Orleans. From tour guides, to websites, to travel brochures, Thomas extracts and analyzes a variety of messages to document how competing representations of race—desire and disaster—are two frames through which New Orleans tourism narratives represent black culture. Thomas leads readers to question the extent to which alternative tourism narratives can be constructed to more justly address constructions of blackness.


Introduction: The Gentrification Game, Barbara Lewis Sep 2016

Introduction: The Gentrification Game, Barbara Lewis

Trotter Review

In real estate talk, there are only three things that matter, and they are location, location, location. The same is true in dispossession, which translates into the freeing up of location so that it can be possessed by others. Another term that has cropped up fairly recently, much in use in the crossover between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, is gentrification, which has a benign face as well as one that is not so kindly, like the paired tragic and comic masks of classic drama.

In this issue of the Trotter Review, we explore gentrification and its alternate, dispossession, through ...


Communities Of Opportunity: Pursuing A Housing Policy Agenda To Achieve Equity And Opportunity In The Face Of Post-Recession Challenges, Kalima Rose, Teddy Kỳ-Nam Miller Sep 2016

Communities Of Opportunity: Pursuing A Housing Policy Agenda To Achieve Equity And Opportunity In The Face Of Post-Recession Challenges, Kalima Rose, Teddy Kỳ-Nam Miller

Trotter Review

Where we live directly impacts our ability to achieve our full potential. Access to good schools, quality jobs, reliable transportation, and healthy food is fundamental to achieving communities of opportunity. Unfortunately, communities of color, and urban black communities in particular, are disproportionately residing in neighborhoods locked out of opportunity, or disproportionately burdened by housing costs —spending over half of their income on housing. In 2015, PolicyLink undertook a research project to understand the changing post-recession housing landscape, to characterize the forces that were undermining housing security for communities of color, and to characterize the policy opportunities that could address the ...


Gentrification As Anti-Local Economic Development: The Case Of Boston, Massachusetts, James Jennings Sep 2016

Gentrification As Anti-Local Economic Development: The Case Of Boston, Massachusetts, James Jennings

Trotter Review

Activists and political leaders across the city of Boston are concerned that gentrification in the form of rapidly rising rents in low-income and the poorest areas are contributing to displacement of families and children. Rising home sale prices and an increasing number of development projects are feeding into this concern. There is also a growing wariness about the impact that this scenario can have on small and neighborhood-based businesses and microenterprises whose markets are represented by the kinds of households facing potential displacement. This potential side-effect suggests that gentrification could actually emerge as anti-local economic development in Boston. It can ...


Introduction: Appreciating Difference, Barbara Lewis Jul 2014

Introduction: Appreciating Difference, Barbara Lewis

Trotter Review

Are we a narrative nation, imagined and connected mentally, tied by a common history of disruption if not by contiguous geography? Lorick-Wilmot suggests that the stories we tell offer the basis of mutual understanding across distance and cultures and generations. In a reconfigured mental Diasporic cartography, where is our citadel, our castle (not to be confused with what Europeans named as slave castles of Africa)? The remains and monuments built in this hemisphere by iron will and the drive to change yesterday, uprooting it from the ground of inequality, still stand on the highest hill in northern Haiti, reminding us ...


Panoply: Haitian And Haitian-American Youth Crafting Identities In U.S. Schools, Fabienne Doucet Jul 2014

Panoply: Haitian And Haitian-American Youth Crafting Identities In U.S. Schools, Fabienne Doucet

Trotter Review

In the United States, where race is a powerful factor for social stratification (Appiah & Gutmann, 1998; Glick-Schiller & Fouron, 1990a; Omni & Winant, 1986), foreign-born Blacks find themselves battling the demoralizing impacts of discrimination, racism, and xenophobia on a daily basis. In the school context, racist assumptions have been shown to predispose teachers to have lower expectations of immigrant students and other students of color, to view them more often as behavioral problems, and to assume that their parents do not value education (Doucet, 2008, 2011b; Suárez-Orozco, Suárez-Orozco, & Todorova, 2008). At the same time, the powerful influence of race results in Black immigrants becoming “invisible,” in the sense that their individual nationalities, ethnic affiliations, and cultural traditions often are unrecognized or unknown. It is especially important for the well-being of children facing these challenges that their distinct experiences, resources, and vulnerabilities be addressed in the experiences and opportunities made available to them in school. This article focuses on the experiences of Haitian immigrant youth in U.S. schools, specifically addressing the various factors that shape identity formation within this group. The article draws from a study I conducted in Greater Boston with 1.5-generation (Haiti-born) and second-generation (U.S.-born) Haitian youth and their families between 2000 and 2002 (Doucet, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c; Doucet & Suárez-Orozco, 2006). A qualitative investigation, the Boston study was a longitudinal ethnography using participant observation and multiple-structured interviews with students and parents to understand the adaptation of 1.5- and second-generation youth to U.S. schools.


Recent African Immigrants’ Fatherhood Experiences In America: The Changing Role Of Fathers, Zacharia N. Nchinda Jul 2014

Recent African Immigrants’ Fatherhood Experiences In America: The Changing Role Of Fathers, Zacharia N. Nchinda

Trotter Review

This article examines the lived experiences of recent African immigrant fathers in the United States. It focuses specifically on recent African immigrant fathers with African women as wives and children below the age of 18. Its aim is a better understanding of these fathers’ involvement in the life of their children and the changes immigration has forced upon the fathers. Information for the study emanates from interviews carried out with African immigrant fathers in the Milwaukee area, supplemented by my knowledge of African immigrant communities. The categorization of the data uses a construct established by the mid-1990s DADS Project initiative ...


Between Two Worlds: Stories Of The Second-Generation Black Caribbean Immigrant, Yndia S. Lorick-Wilmot Jul 2014

Between Two Worlds: Stories Of The Second-Generation Black Caribbean Immigrant, Yndia S. Lorick-Wilmot

Trotter Review

People have an endless fascination with character information since it helps us to predict the behavior of those we interact with (King, Rumbaugh, and Savage-Rumbaugh 1999). Stories or narratives serve as an extension of this fascination. They help us make better decisions even without supplying immediate information. When we each talk about the past, our stories not only disclose currently relevant social particulars, but also provide tools for reasoning about action—our own and others’. In many instances, the stories we tell offer explanations of an outcome that resulted when we acted upon something—or serve as indirect memories of ...


The Somali Diaspora In Greater Boston, Paul R. Camacho, Abdi Dirshe, Mohamoud Hiray, Mohamed J. Farah Jul 2014

The Somali Diaspora In Greater Boston, Paul R. Camacho, Abdi Dirshe, Mohamoud Hiray, Mohamed J. Farah

Trotter Review

Our nation was founded on and thrives on immigration. One of the newest immigrant groups in the Boston area are Somalis. They are among the largest of the new populations of African immigrants. While precise numbers are very difficult to determine, there are approximately 8,000 in the Greater Boston area and another 2,000 estimated across the rest of Massachusetts. Very few studies have examined Somalis in the United States, and no studies exist on the community in Boston or Massachusetts.

It is an interesting sociological question to ask how similar the Somali experience has been in the United ...


Black Is Decidedly Not Just Black: A Case Study On Hiv Among African-Born Populations Living In Massachusetts, Chioma Nnaji, Nzinga Metzger Jul 2014

Black Is Decidedly Not Just Black: A Case Study On Hiv Among African-Born Populations Living In Massachusetts, Chioma Nnaji, Nzinga Metzger

Trotter Review

Black or African American is a racial category that includes the descendants of enslaved Africans as well as members of foreign-born black communities who migrated to the United States from places abroad, such as Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Grouping native-born and foreign-born blacks into a single homogeneous racial category may make it easier to track disease and health outcomes; however, it masks the different cultural experiences, histories, languages, social and moral values, and expectations that influence health beliefs, attitudes, practices, and behaviors. It also ignores such factors as migration, which forces foreign-born populations to examine both their traditional ...


It’S In The Backbone: Dance From Africa Through The Diaspora, An Interview With Deama Battle, Deama Battle, Kenneth J. Cooper Jul 2014

It’S In The Backbone: Dance From Africa Through The Diaspora, An Interview With Deama Battle, Deama Battle, Kenneth J. Cooper

Trotter Review

Classically trained in dance, DeAma Battle became interested in Africa-rooted dance in the 1960s. She started performing the traditional dances from Africa that spread, via the Atlantic slave trade, to the United States, the Caribbean, and South America. She not only has performed those steps and movements, Battle has studied them, with master dancers from West Africa, Brazil, Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba. One of her teachers and mentors was Chuck Davis, a leading African American teacher of traditional African dance. Her research has probed deeper, into the field abroad, on dance-study tours to Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, and other ...


Indians Once Roamed This Land…, Mwalim (Morgan James Peters) Jul 2014

Indians Once Roamed This Land…, Mwalim (Morgan James Peters)

Trotter Review

The sun sat high in the cloudless, early summer sky. Jerry held his breath as Ryan punched the gas, jumping onto Route 3 a few feet ahead of an incoming tractor-trailer. Ryan laughed as the angry truck driver blasted his air horn at them as the ’79 Aspen rocketed up the highway. The ramp onto Route 3 didn’t leave much room for traffic to merge; leaving the brave to shoot out onto the highway and the timid to sit and wait for an opening, often to the angry blaring of horns behind them, pushing them to jump onto the ...


Introduction: Lynching, Incarceration’S Cousin: From Till To Trayvon, Barbara Lewis Jul 2013

Introduction: Lynching, Incarceration’S Cousin: From Till To Trayvon, Barbara Lewis

Trotter Review

The wholesale criminalizing of the black male has been much in the news, put there by the Trayvon Martin case and the Florida verdict. (Incidentally, even though we don’t often think of it, Florida was where the first African slaves were installed in America, back in the 1500s in the city of St. Augustine.) As an academic, which, loosely translated means that I often bury my head between the covers of a book trying to figure out one thing or another, I am thought of as someone who is cautious and circumspect in what I think and write, but ...


Inside/Outside: A Model For Social Support And Rehabilitation Of Young Black Men, Harold Adams, Castellano Turner Jul 2013

Inside/Outside: A Model For Social Support And Rehabilitation Of Young Black Men, Harold Adams, Castellano Turner

Trotter Review

This paper first identifies some of the most important problems facing incarcerated young black males. Next, we present an historical analysis that pinpoints the War on Drugs as the primary origin of mass incarceration of that group. Then we describe the major consequences for prisoners as well as collateral problems for their families, friends, and communities. We then outline the types of programs created to address these problems. We summarize research that shows the key to solving high recidivism rates is social support during incarceration and after release. We describe in particular a Boston-based organization, the Committee of Friends and ...


Studies On Religion And Recidivism: Focus On Roxbury, Dorchester, And Mattapan, George Walters-Sleyon Jul 2013

Studies On Religion And Recidivism: Focus On Roxbury, Dorchester, And Mattapan, George Walters-Sleyon

Trotter Review

This research article raises the question of whether religion can be considered a viable partner in the reduction of the high rate of recidivism associated with the increasing mass incarceration in the United States. Can sustainable transformation in the life of a prisoner or former prisoner as a result of religious conversion be subjected to evidenced-based practices to derive impartial conclusions about the value of religion in their lives? With a particular focus on three neighborhoods of Boston—Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan—this study examines the relevance of religion and faith-based organizations in lowering the high rate of recidivism associated ...


Gray Matters Behind Bars, Howard Manly Jul 2013

Gray Matters Behind Bars, Howard Manly

Trotter Review

Forty years ago, the nation got tough on crime. It is now paying the price as the skyrocketing cost of incarcerating aging inmates is haunting state and federal prison budgets.


The Personal And Family Challenges Of Reentry: Interview With Helen Credle, Kenneth J. Cooper Jul 2013

The Personal And Family Challenges Of Reentry: Interview With Helen Credle, Kenneth J. Cooper

Trotter Review

For 40 years, Helen Credle has worked with prison inmates and exoffenders in Massachusetts, from inside or outside the state corrections system. The Boston native, who grew up in Roxbury, did not set out to become an advocate for prisoners and their families. Oddly, it was music that first took her inside prison walls and into that role. As director of community services for the New England Conservatory of Music, Credle organized concerts by bluesman B.B. King and balladeer Bobby Womack in state prisons. Her involvement grew deeper when the conservatory’s administrators and faculty members decided to teach ...


Life After Prison: A Different Kind Of Sentence?, A Forum At The Boston Center For The Arts, Andrea J. Cabral, Daniel Cordon, Lyn Levy, Gary Little, Janet Rodriguez Jul 2013

Life After Prison: A Different Kind Of Sentence?, A Forum At The Boston Center For The Arts, Andrea J. Cabral, Daniel Cordon, Lyn Levy, Gary Little, Janet Rodriguez

Trotter Review

In September 2012, the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) hosted a forum on life after prison as part of its series, Dialogue: Social Issues Examined Through the Playwright’s Pen. The forum coincided with performances at the Boston Center for the Arts of The MotherF**ker with the Hat, a play by Stephen Andy Guirgis about prisoner reentry.

Andrea J. Cabral, then sheriff of Suffolk County and secretary of public safety in Massachusetts, moderated the forum in BCA’s Calderwood Pavilion, the same theater where SpeakEasy Stage Company was putting on the play. The four panelists work for nonprofit ...


Stop And Frisk: From Slave-Catchers To Nypd, A Legal Commentary, Gloria J. Browne-Marshall Jul 2013

Stop And Frisk: From Slave-Catchers To Nypd, A Legal Commentary, Gloria J. Browne-Marshall

Trotter Review

Today’s “stop and frisk” practices stem from centuries of legal control of Africans in America. Colonial laws were drafted specifically to control Africans, enslaved and free. Slave catchers culled the woods in search of those Africans who dared escape. After slavery ended, “Black Codes” or criminal laws were enacted to ensnare African Americans, including the sinister convict-lease system that existed well into the twentieth century. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to extend police authority to stop and frisk during the Civil Rights Movement.

Police abuse of stop and frisk has led to tens of millions of people detained ...


Commentary, Kenneth J. Cooper Jan 2010

Commentary, Kenneth J. Cooper

Trotter Review

It’s an explanation often heard around Boston. Why hasn’t the city ever elected a black mayor? Because the black community is “too small.” Why can’t the community sustain an FM radio station? And why does it have difficulty keeping afloat a weekly newspaper, even a soul food restaurant? Again, the answer comes: the community is too small. The irreconcilable flaw of this line of reasoning is exposed when it is expanded to the whole country. Black mayors have been elected in any number of cities with smaller black populations, proportionally, than the 25 percent in Boston—Los ...


Madre Patria (Mother Country): Latino Identity And Rejections Of Blackness, Marta I. Cruz-Janzen Sep 2007

Madre Patria (Mother Country): Latino Identity And Rejections Of Blackness, Marta I. Cruz-Janzen

Trotter Review

When I was in third grade, in Puerto Rico, I wanted to be the Virgin Mary for the community Christmas celebration. A teacher promptly informed me that the mother of Christ could not be black. A girl with blonde hair and blue eyes was selected for the role, and I was given the role of a shepherd. In middle school, also in Puerto Rico, I played a house servant for a school play. Only children of black heritage played the slaves and servants. A white student with a painted face portrayed the only significant black character. All the other characters ...


A Historical Overview Of Poverty Among Blacks In Boston, 1950-1990, Robert C. Hayden Sep 2007

A Historical Overview Of Poverty Among Blacks In Boston, 1950-1990, Robert C. Hayden

Trotter Review

Like most nineteenth-century residents of Boston, blacks worked hard to maintain their homes and families. Even before the Civil War, both enslaved and free blacks in "freedom's birthplace" worked long and arduous hours. Those who migrated to Boston from the South in the 1800s had come to secure higher wages, mobility, and opportunity for themselves and their families. Boston's black population grew from 2,000 in 1850 to 8,125 in 1890, and to 11,591 by 1900. In 1900, 39 percent of black Bostonians were northern-born (New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania), and 53 percent ...


The Meaning Of Black Entrepreneurship In Constructing Community, Stacey Sutton Jan 2000

The Meaning Of Black Entrepreneurship In Constructing Community, Stacey Sutton

Trotter Review

The small business sector in the United States has traditionally been viewed as a strong source of economic growth and prosperity, as entrepreneurship epitomizes the quintessential American fantasy of rugged individualism. Given the myths about larger-than-life entrepreneurial heroes, business development has historically been touted as a viable trajectory toward economic and social mobility for immigrant groups and marginalized people. Stories about "great" American businessmen such as John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs among others, often highlight rags-to-riches myths about innumerable possibilities within American capitalism given diligence, fierce competition, and an uncompromising work ethic. The work values of small business ...


Introduction, James Jennings Jun 1996

Introduction, James Jennings

Trotter Review

The Black community in the United States is undergoing major demographic changes that point to greater ethnic diversity. There are many ethnic groups that compose the Black community today, including people from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and other parts of the world. This community can no longer be approached as socially or demographically monolithic. Individuals in these groups may define themselves as "Black" but not necessarily, "African American." This issue of the Trotter Review explores facets of on-going ethnic transformation within the Black community. It begins with several essays that introduce broad themes related to this social and demographic ...


Black Immigrant Community Of Washington, D.C.: A Public History Approach, Portia James Jun 1996

Black Immigrant Community Of Washington, D.C.: A Public History Approach, Portia James

Trotter Review

In the Washington, D.C. area contemporary Black community life has been shaped in large part by a pattern of migration and settlement of African Americans from southern states. But international immigration has also made its mark on the local Black community. Today, Washington and its suburbs in Virginia and Maryland are home to significant populations of Black people from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This international movement of people has resulted in the broadening of Black community life and the development of a multicultural and multi-ethnic Black population in the area.


The Political Issues For African Immigrants In The United States, Paul E. Udofia Jun 1996

The Political Issues For African Immigrants In The United States, Paul E. Udofia

Trotter Review

Since the 1970s the African-born population in the United States has grown steadily in numbers. This increase of African immigrants offers an historic opportunity for sustained reconstruction of ancestral relationships with Black America. At this point, however, Africans who are mostly English-speaking and highly educated, remain largely isolated and even ostracized. So, what must be done for these groups, Blacks and African immigrants, to begin working together effectively? This essay begins with one basic query necessary for understanding this potential development: What is the current status of African immigrants in the United States? After providing a brief overview in response ...