Culture

Walking in the Ghetto

When I was young, probably about 12 or 13 years old, I would do volunteer work in the “First Ward” neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. I always felt awkward and so completely out of place. As a white girl with fairly nice clean clothes, I couldn’t help but wish I didn’t stand out so much in a way that accentuated the advantages I had versus the severe disadvantages that the residents of First Ward had. Racial and educational inequality is rampant and increasing in America. The photo of Lloyd’s kitchen in “Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago” page 190, of two children sprawled on a filthy disgusting kitchen floor is a haunting memory from the time of helping my mother as she visited Charlotte’s version of the projects. I can’t imagine what it would be like today, after another ten years of disintegration and destitution. Our America is not one and the same with “their” America. Continue reading

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Culture

“There goes the neighborhood.”

The phrase easily conjures up a picture in your minds eye… A white family standing on the porch of a picturesque house wearily eying the new neighbors moving in as “they” are the darkest color found in this sunny scene.

Inequality is defined as “unequal opportunity or treatment based on social or economic disparity”. Racial inequality is still seen today in the picture painted above, and in one example, stems from the residential segregation of neighborhoods across America. I grew up in the South where some neighborhoods were somewhat interspersed with various color and ethnicities, while areas remained faithfully “white”. It wasn’t until I had moved out of the South and lived in both Dallas and Seattle that I ever comprehended how pervasive residential segregation was. Continue reading

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Culture

Educational Inequality through continued Racial Segregation

Educational inequality found through racial segregation in schools continues to plague our nation’s children. Though the efforts to improve the inequality found within our educational system has waned over the past several decades, the Supreme Court still remains correct in its standing that segregated schools are “inherently unequal”. However, segregation is not necessarily just mean by race, but also by socioeconomic means, or more simply stated: poverty. Continue reading

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Culture

Sociological Imagination

The sociological imagination is a term coined by C. Wright Mills in 1959. He defines sociological imagination as the means by which people look at their own personal troubles in light of social issues and try to make meaningful connections between their individual experiences and that of the societies.

Sociological imagination is a useful tool to have as it as it inspires the transition from apathy to involvement through the ability to bring understanding to both your personal life and the history of a society. Mills contends that one cannot be accomplished without the other. Continue reading

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