Shows how government created “ghettos” and affluent white
space and entrenched a system of American residential caste that is
the linchpin of US inequality—and issues a call for abolition.
The iconic Black
hood, like slavery and Jim Crow, is a peculiar American institution
animated by the ideology of white supremacy. Politicians and people
of all colors propagated “ghetto” myths to justify racist
policies that concentrated poverty in the hood and created
high-opportunity white spaces. In White Space, Black Hood,
Sheryll Cashin traces the history of anti-Black residential
caste—boundary maintenance, opportunity hoarding, and
stereotype-driven surveillance—and unpacks its current legacy so we
can begin the work to dismantle the structures and policies that
undermine Black lives.
Drawing on nearly 2
decades of research in cities including Baltimore, St. Louis,
Chicago, New York, and Cleveland, Cashin traces the processes of
residential caste as it relates to housing, policing, schools, and
transportation. She contends that geography is now central to
American caste. Poverty-free havens and poverty-dense hoods would not
exist if the state had not designed, constructed, and maintained this
physical racial order.
Cashin calls for
abolition of these state-sanctioned processes. The ultimate goal is
to change the lens through which society sees residents of poor Black
neighborhoods from presumed thug to presumed citizen, and to
transform the relationship of the state with these neighborhoods from
punitive to caring. She calls for investment in a new infrastructure
of opportunity in poor Black neighborhoods, including richly
resourced schools and neighborhood centers, public transit,
Peacemaker Fellowships, universal basic incomes, housing choice
vouchers for residents, and mandatory inclusive housing elsewhere.
and sharply written, White Space, Black Hood is a call to
action for repairing what white supremacy still breaks.
photos, maps, and charts that illuminate the history of residential
segregation as an institution and a tactic of racial oppression.