Residential segregation is the development of new neighborhoods after the separation of several population groups united on the basis of race, socioeconomic status, language, ethnicity, or other criteria. This phenomenon is widespread in the United States nowadays, and it will take a lot of time to eliminate that.
Housing segregation originated at the turn of the twentieth century and its development was rather slow. African Americans used to live in the white neighborhoods side by side with their employers. In spite of discrimination, there was no racially segregated community. However, after the World War I, everything started to change. African Americans took manufacturing jobs and moved into industrial communities. Towns were gradually turning into all-white centers, while suburbs with low taxes and cheap lands became industrial black zones.
Government policy was focused on deliberate racial segregation, which even now has an impact on American life. Researchers claim that the concentration of residents of a certain race is still high in their neighborhoods. Multiethnic neighborhoods are not very popular yet. Besides, the concept of segregation is now related to the lack of affordable housing in suburban communities which are safe and prosperous. So, racially segregated housing areas with lower prices still exist.
Residential segregation has a lot of negative consequences. It can cause isolation of certain population groups from mainstream society. It affects the students’ access to universities, colleges and schools. Concentrated poverty, crime and pollution are also among the negative effects of housing segregation. One of the priorities for the government should be fighting against the devastating effects of decades of discriminatory housing policies. Integrating residential neighborhoods is the best solution to the problem of racial and other kinds of discrimination. The USA is the country of diversity and it is time to recognize its past and exert every possible effort to get integrated housing for all the Americans.
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