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Thread: stratford e15-most cosmopolitan place in the history of humankind

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdisco
    i know - and yes, this is only half-arsed anecdotally - apparently you'll see couples from different ethnic/racial backgrounds together on the streets of London, i mean more commonly than in New York (well i've read this in print etc by people familiar with both cities).
    Well, the difference is that you will see far more black/white couples in London than you will in New York. You will see black/white couples in New York these days (certainly more than I remember from my childhood) but at nowhere near the frequency you do in London. Having said that, I'm sure you see more black/white couples in New York (and, although I've not been there since I was a child) on the West Coast, in Chicago (I'm guessing though, am I right Scott?), around the big northeastern cities and around Atlanta then in the country at large. I've never seen a b/w couple in Savannah, Georgia, where my mother is from, and that city is split pretty much evenly between the two groups.

    Other types of mixed-race relationships are far more prevalent than black/white. That has always been the big dividing line in America, in romantic relations, in neighborhoods, and so on. Asians and Hispanics (and yeah, many Hispanics in America are white or black) are somewhere in the middle, but blacks and whites are still pretty segregated in America, certainly in the big cities. For instance, the neighborhood I live in in Queens (which is about 20% black as a whole) is no more than maybe 2% black.

    Race relations between blacks and whites in London, at least in my experience, are much better than in the States.

  2. #17
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    oh btw Pearsall, nice sig. line, your blogs are quality

    (i was interested to see you writing a bit about Kenan Malik and his admirable recent getting about on the subject of Islamophobia. not that i normally give the time of day to Jonathan Freedland but i thought his commentary/additions on/to what Malik had to say were also interesting and kinda compelling: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists...396112,00.html)

    >I'm sure you see more black/white couples...in Chicago (I'm guessing though, am I right Scott?),

    well,
    er
    and i note you link to the US Census page so you'll know this yourself but for a city that is (the Big Apple itself is recorded as 27% of its population being "Black or African American") 37 per cent black {neighbouring Gary, Indiana - my only but frequent experience of Gary is through a train-window - is about 84% black/African-American} Chicago doesn't seem exactly chocka w' e.g., black/white couples. mind you, reading between the lines of your post, NYC doesn't seem compared to London, granted.

    the big thing about race relations in Chicago, really - and i guess you may be aware of this, and if not, cool - is that it's really one of the most segregated bigger American cities. a large proportion of black Chicagoans are concentrated on the South Side and parts of the West Side.
    the neighbourhood on the North Side (a mile or so from the Cubs ballpark, sports fans! etc.etc.) where i'm at now seems pretty diverse, a lot of white and Asian and black citizens AFAIK, and on the (er, ha...) restaurants tip a lot of Hispanic and Asian and Euro-different heritages cuisines, don't get me wrong,
    but yeah it is really quite segregated.

    >Other types of mixed-race relationships are far more prevalent than black/white

    it's interesting you say this actually.
    my girlfriend's two best mates in Chicago are both in mixed-race relationships (well, quite a lot of her Chicagoan mates are actually, but i think of her two bezzies the quickest).

    i know a bit about the Chi's politics and whatnot because my girl well [www.ywcachicago.org] works there.
    but the very short (guidebook) version of the segregation alluded to above &c. is unscrupulous realtors (here quoting almost verbatim from one old Lonely Planet cause it said it best, and concisely) fuelling white fears of African-Americans in the bad old post-war years and whatnot, "block-busting", white flight, blah blah.
    there's all zoning laws and school catchment areas and other things coming into play, i'd best shut up before i tie myself completely in knots and get utterly confused but yeah.

    the city is making steps to reverse decades of earlier bad faith etc but of course it's going to be slow.
    a lot of the country's biggest projects, such as the Robert Taylor Homes on the South Side (Henry 'Skip' Gates did a four-part docu series that the Beeb screened last year or so about, er, 'the Afro-American experience' or whatnot and he was wondering around the Robert Taylor at one point), and the Cabrini Green 'hood on the Near Northwest Side, are basically being torn down and replaced, but from what i know so far of Cabrini Green it's being yuppified and i don't know what is happening to the old tenants etc (i should pay far more attention to my better half).
    i don't know, mixed-income developments are up and coming but SORRY this is getting rather off-topic.

    i don't quite think that basically - for Chi-town's African-American population - Gary is to the Chi what Essex is to white cockernees tho' i do wonder if some old-timer Cabrini Green residents might head out to Gary (conversationally with Chicago residents i have heard this in the past, and on more than a few occasions iirc)... ...but i think Chicago is a fascinating town, not of course anywhere near as hollowed out as tragic and blasted Detroit, but i would like to learn far more about the race relations issues etc here because i don't think there are any major problems that often make the news or anything, but the structural issues of this de facto segregation are clearly affecting the city, its economics, community relations, etc.

    >Race relations between blacks and whites in London, at least in my experience, are much better than in the States.

    i think that's a decent call, TBH.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdisco
    and i note you link to the US Census page so you'll know this yourself but for a city that is (the Big Apple itself is recorded as 27% of its population being "Black or African American") 37 per cent black {neighbouring Gary, Indiana - my only but frequent experience of Gary is through a train-window - is about 84% black/African-American} Chicago doesn't seem exactly chocka w' e.g., black/white couples. mind you, reading between the lines of your post, NYC doesn't seem compared to London, granted.
    No, New York isn't really comparable to London in that sense. I said Chicago as I was thinking that, as the big metropolis at the heart of a region that is generally noted for its conservatism, it would be the sort of metropolitan exception to wider patterns in a similar way to Atlanta (which is the only place I've ever seen b/w couples in the South - of course the Midwest is both much whiter and has a very different history to the South).

    the big thing about race relations in Chicago, really - and i guess you may be aware of this, and if not, cool - is that it's really one of the most segregated bigger American cities. a large proportion of black Chicagoans are concentrated on the South Side and parts of the West Side.
    the neighbourhood on the North Side (a mile or so from the Cubs ballpark, sports fans! etc.etc.) where i'm at now seems pretty diverse, a lot of white and Asian and black citizens AFAIK, and on the (er, ha...) restaurants tip a lot of Hispanic and Asian and Euro-different heritages cuisines, don't get me wrong,
    but yeah it is really quite segregated.
    New York is pretty similar in that respect - I'll try to find them but I've seen maps before that map out New York City's population by race in terms of density by neighborhood (ie the white map will have shades for less than 5%, 5-10%, 10-25% and so on) and there is little overlap between the white and black maps, whereas the Hispanic population overlaps quite frequently with both groups.

    >Other types of mixed-race relationships are far more prevalent than black/white

    it's interesting you say this actually.
    my girlfriend's two best mates in Chicago are both in mixed-race relationships (well, quite a lot of her Chicagoan mates are actually, but i think of her two bezzies the quickest).
    Yeah, I can't remember where I saw it (I'll need to find it again) but I saw some tables a couple months ago that showed the outmarriage rates of various racial/ethnic groups of the American population, and both the Hispanic and Asian outmarriage rates were at about 35-40% (rising to 70%+ for long-settled groups like Japanese-Americans), while the black outmarriage rate was about 8%. I'll try and find it if you're interested?

    And it's certainly no secret that a recent big thing has been white male/Asian female couples (any Asian-American message board is full to the brim of Asian male teeth-gnashing over this).

    The rest of your post is really great, dude. I don't know nearly enough about the Chi as I should, so it's cool to hear about it from someone who knows the place well but has an outsiders perspective on it.

  4. #19
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    awh cheers for the words Pearsall

    those tables you mention do sound interesting, if you happen to come across them think of the Dissensus lot, but don't break your neck.

    >And it's certainly no secret that a recent big thing has been white male/Asian female couples (any Asian-American message board is full to >the brim of Asian male teeth-gnashing over this).

    well the two couples i mentioned in my post are both boy/girl but it's the girls that are both white, boys both Asian, so yeah near enough pretty much

    your point about overlap is i take it to do with, basically, the entire fucken history of the States, politics, culture, blahblah?

    w'out opening up Pandora's Box or whatever...

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    Dude if you think Asian-Americans are pissed about the whole white guy-asian girl thing, you should hear what Asian Asians say about it!

    In vietnam they're actually trying to ban it...

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    heh.

    wow.

    hmm.

    oh Vietnam oh.

    oh, Pearsall, you may be interested to know of a few things i learnt last night off the lass.

    an ex-CEO of the organisation my girl works for - this is quite a long time ago i think, but still - a white woman, married an African-American man and in their predominately white neighbourhood on the South Side, they were the first mixed-race couple in that neighbourhood, apparently.

    btw, her mate T is about to start courting with a white guy, so that's one "b/w couple" in our particular 'hood

    my girl lived in Atlanta for a year going through school and although she acknowledges she was in a fairly/mainly white neighbourhood (and also a pretty nice one, i believe), she encountered/was aware of far more racism towards African-Americans in Atlanta than she is up here. but she admits she may have got a partial picture.
    etc.

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    One thing with the South is that racial issues are out in the open - in newspapers, in people's discussions - in a way they aren't in the North (where the tendency, at least among whites, is to brush these issues under the carpet).

    Anyways, I just found the article I was talking about before, about residential segregation in New York City. Worth a read, although unfortunately the graphics no longer seem to work.

  8. #23
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    oh, OK, NYC is actually more segregated (re. our previous discussions) than the Chi!

    thank you for posting that so much, it's very interesting.

    i'm thinking the person who wrote the Lonely Planet Condensed guide to Chicago is more on-point re. these issues, since he mentions and basically apologises for the whole segregation thing early doors in the book. i've read the same book for New York and there's no such thing mentioned there, just praise for the city's diversity. anyway, irrelevant tittle-tattle.

    i'll take your word on the whole north/south thing, but i hope you don't mind if i don't pass them through to the mrs. i'd be willing to wager that Chicago itself (which is the only place my girl referenced in relation to Atlanta) is a fairly ol' open-minded town, on all sorts of issues to do with race and class, and, er, lots of things blahblahblah.
    now, large towns like Atlanta in relation to small-town Iowa or rural Wisconsin, maybe that's a different story...

    i wonder what the cities in the USA that have the most miscegenation are, specifically kids with black and African-American, and white American parents. clearly - can we assume? - New York isn't on that list.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdisco
    i'll take your word on the whole north/south thing, but i hope you don't mind if i don't pass them through to the mrs. i'd be willing to wager that Chicago itself (which is the only place my girl referenced in relation to Atlanta) is a fairly ol' open-minded town, on all sorts of issues to do with race and class, and, er, lots of things blahblahblah.
    Oh, what I meant was not necessarily that the South is more open-minded than the North (and I guess I should really say when I say the North I can only really talk about the Northeast), merely that it is an issue that is out in the open more than around New York. Certainly when I've been down to Georgia to see my grandparents the main Atlanta paper seems to be more frank (both in editorial and in the letters) in its treatment of black/white issues than papers I've seen in the Northeast. Perhaps the greater variety of the population of the Northeast than the Deep South plays some role as well? Although the Hispanic population of Georgia and the Carolinas has grown at a staggering pace in the last fifteen years, it's still quite small compared to the black/white populations.

    i wonder what the cities in the USA that have the most miscegenation are, specifically kids with black and African-American, and white American parents. clearly - can we assume? - New York isn't on that list.
    I'd imagine military bases, actually, as the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) are the most racially integrated part of American society.

  10. #25
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    Actually, this topic reminds me of a book I read in the summer called A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America. One of the places he talked about in the book was Oak Park, Illinois. I don't know if you are familiar with it?

    Here's a quote:
    Few towns in America spend much energy managing diversity. One that does is Oak Park, the enclave of integration adjoining the predominantly black slum of Chicago's West Side. For a quarter of a century, Oak Park has worked assiduously to maintain its racial mixture, to defuse internal tensions, and to guard against the segregation and decay that have festered next door. To cross Audtin Boulevard, Oak Park's border with Chicago, is to move between what America might have been and what America has become.

  11. #26
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    Pearsall:
    >Certainly when I've been down to Georgia to see my grandparents the main Atlanta paper seems to be more frank (both in editorial and in >the letters) in its treatment of black/white issues than papers I've seen in the Northeast

    oh yes right, fair enough, sorry yeah.

    yeah perhaps you are on to something with your surmisations about Georgia and the Carolinas, btw.

    >I'd imagine military bases, actually, as the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) are the most racially integrated part of American >society.

    really?
    ah right.

    i wonder though if we took my original query and applied it to just regular - as it were - cities in the USA, i wonder what would be atop any 'list'.

    iirc Anchorage might be there.

    >One of the places he talked about in the book was Oak Park, Illinois. I don't know if you are familiar with it?

    yes indeed. and i genuinely didn't know that, but it sounds plausible, so thanks for sharing. Oak Park is essentially in Chicago, yeah, it's right next door (these clear-cut lines - i guess to do with taxes and zoning and whatnot - between zip codes and where the city ends and a 'suburb' begins in the USA seem a little more pronounced than things in the UK, but that's just me i think).

    briefly (seems you like my travel guide hat ):
    Oak Park is eight miles left of the Loop as the crow flies, probably best way to get there is take the Green Line el. it's a nice affluent place, certainly quite different to some of the West Side further east.
    but basically you might be interested to know its famed for two reasons, as it were.

    firstly, this is where Frank Lloyd Wright "hit his stride": there's his house here, a lot of buildings he designed are here, he left a Chicago practice after a tiff and came to do business in Oak Park. he left it still quite a young man but the streets of Oak Park are like World Heritage or something i swear, just wondering through, marvelling at all these sublime Prairie Style etc. creations.
    so yeah, that's nice.

    the other really famous person associated with Oak Park is that it was Hemingway's birthplace.
    he left early, i suppose, and i don't believe it was ever really a big thing with him (i could be wrong, having never read any Hemingway auto or biogs) so you could say, that - i guess, like that one horse town that Mark Twain scurried away from at a young age - on the subject of his hometown, Hemingway voted with his feet.

    but yeah, that's Oak Park, in a nutshell.

    never knew that about it.
    interesting.

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    update to big up the fantastic algerian caff in brikky
    yes i!

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