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The conditions that created Ferguson cannot be addressed without remedying a century of public policies that segregated our metropolitan landscape.
Remedies are unlikely if we fail to recognize these policies and how their effects have endured.
Ferguson adjoined the very poor, all-black suburb of Kinloch where Williams had once lived (California Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the comedian and activist Dick Gregory grew up there).
There was a tiny black section of Ferguson, geographically isolated from the main town, but it was the white Ferguson that Williams had come to admire, although he had been permitted to enter only during daytime.
A more powerful cause of metropolitan segregation in St. Report of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
But it had some multifamily buildings that attracted renters from St. By 1980, Ferguson was 14 percent black; by 1990, 25 percent; by 2000, 52 percent; and by 2010, 67 percent. Louis were similarly experiencing an increasing share of black residents during this period.
Meanwhile, suburbs beyond the first ring to the south and west of St.
This history, however, has now largely been forgotten.
When we blame private prejudice, suburban snobbishness, and black poverty for contemporary segregation, we not only whitewash our own history but avoid considering whether new policies might instead promote an integrated community. United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, Civil Action 72-100C (4), December 13.
Within that area, whites are now a solid majority in some neighborhoods for the first time in decades.4 The following pages tell the story of how St. Louis over the last century was duplicated in almost every metropolis nationwide.