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How Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Has Heightened the Barriers to a Black-Brown Coalition

1 September 2017 No Comment
Photo by William Camargo

Photo by William Camargo

by Natalie Y. Moore

Photos by William Camargo

August 31, 2017

Chicago is one of the most segregated major cities in the nation. It’s also the second-most segregated along black-brown lines, after Detroit.

During the Great Migration a century ago, hundreds of thousands of black Southerners ventured to Chicago in search of a better life. Racist housing policies confined them to an area known as “the Black Belt,” setting the stage for ongoing segregation.

Thousands of Mexicans arrived in Chicago as low-wage laborers through the federal bracero program in the 1940s, many eventually settling on the city’s Near West Side. Subsequent waves of gentrification have forced Latino communities farther from the city’s center, but the population has grown steadily to about 790,000, or 29 percent of Chicago’s population.

Meanwhile, during the past three decades, black flight—driven in part by a lack of jobs and strong public schools—has reduced Chicago’s African-American population by more than a quarter, from about 1.2 million in 1980 to 850,000 today. The exodus of black families who could afford to leave triggered a vicious cycle, leaving black neighborhoods ever poorer and underpopulated. The median family income of black Chicagoans has declined since 1960 (from $37,121 to $36,720 in 2015), even as the median income for Latino families has risen (from $41,942 to $47,308).

How Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Has Heightened the Barriers to a Black-Brown Coalition

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