By Jennifer Hamer

ISBN-10: 0520950178

ISBN-13: 9780520950177

Urban poverty, besides all of its poignant manifestations, is relocating from urban facilities to working-class and business suburbs in modern the US. Nowhere is that this extra glaring than in East St. Louis, Illinois. as soon as a thriving production and transportation heart, East St. Louis is referred to now for its unemployment, crime, and collapsing infrastructure. Abandoned within the Heartland takes us into the lives of East St. Louis's predominantly African American citizens to determine what has occurred considering that deserted town, and jobs, caliber colleges, and town companies disappeared, leaving humans remoted and imperiled. Jennifer Hamer introduces males who look for that means and chance in dead-end jobs, girls who frequently tackle caretaking tasks until eventually good into previous age, and fogeys who've the very unlikely activity of defending their young ones during this risky, and actually poisonous, surroundings. Illustrated with historic and modern photographs...

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Extra info for Abandoned in the Heartland. Work, Family, and Living in East St. Louis

Example text

Louis, Illinois, embodies at least three core elements of American national life: it is a suburb in the heartland, it is predominantly African American, and it is poor. Taken together, these three elements overlap one another and overwhelm the popular imagination, for they also, counterintuitively, contradict one another. The goal of this book is to capture these complexities in the glorious resilience of East St. Louisans, as well as in the more commonly observed desperation and helplessness of the city itself.

The circumstances of decline were far more harmful to them than to their white neighbors. S. Bureau of the Census report for 1960, 66 percent of the nonwhite population were employed as operatives and laborers and in service occupations compared with 48 percent of the total population. Over one-half of black households earned less than three thousand dollars per year, and among those unemployed, about 80 percent earned less than two thousand dollars the year prior to the report. For white families in the city, the rates were 32 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

Many canceled meetings, or, once we met, they were reluctant to talk on audiotape or provide much detail. The project did not get a real foothold until scheduled focus groups were conducted through local churches. I, or an assistant, met with ten groups, each consisting of six to ten church members. I used responses from the interviews that had been conducted thus far to develop a shorter and more precise set of questions. The most important of these focus groups was at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, on Bond Avenue.

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Abandoned in the Heartland. Work, Family, and Living in East St. Louis by Jennifer Hamer


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