They called it progress. But for the people whose homes and districts were bulldozed, the urban renewal projects that swept America starting in 1949 were nothing short of assault. Vibrant city blocks—places rich in history—were reduced to garbage-strewn vacant lots. When a neighborhood is destroyed its inhabitants suffer “root shock”: a traumatic stress reaction related to the destruction of one’s emotional ecosystem. The ripple effects of root shock have an impact on entire communities that can last for decades.
In this groundbreaking and ultimately hopeful book, Dr. Mindy Fullilove examines root shock through the story of urban renewal and its effect on the African American community. Between 1949 and 1973 this federal program, spearheaded by business and real estate interests, destroyed 1,600 African American neighborhoods in cities across the United States. But urban renewal didn’t just disrupt the black community. The anger it caused led to riots that sent whites fleeing for the suburbs, stripping them of their own sense of place. And it left big gashes in the centers of U.S. cities that are only now slowly being repaired.
Focusing on three very different urban settings—the Hill District of Pittsburgh, the Central Ward in Newark, and the small Virginia city of Roanoke—Dr. Fullilove argues powerfully that the twenty-first century will be one of displacement and of continual demolition and reconstruction. Acknowledging the damage caused by root shock is crucial to coping with its human toll and building a road to recovery.
Astonishing in its revelations, unsparing in its conclusions, Root Shock should be read by anyone who cares about the quality of life in American cities—and the dignity of those who reside there.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Root Shock|
|Release Date: 02-04-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Root Shock|
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THE BUTTERFLY IN BEIJING
Every once in a while, in a particular location and at a particular time, people spin the wheel of routine, and they make magic. One such location was Ebbets Field in the heart of Brooklyn, where, through World War I, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and the postwar struggles for equality in America, hardworking people enjoyed baseball. That small, unpredictable, and intimate ballpark was a gallery for characters to strut their stuff, and the characters in the stands took as much advantage of the opportunity as did the characters on the field. It was there that Jackie Robinson broke the color bar in Major League Baseball, and there that "Shorty's Sym-Phony Band" tortured the opposition. Words like "raucous" and "zany" are invoked to help those of us who were never present imagine the intensity and the uniqueness of what went on.
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