Table of contents:
- Modern American ghettos
- South Central, Los Angeles
- Marci Houses, New York
- Pruitt-Igoe, St. Louis
- Robert Taylor Homes, Chicago
- Magnolia Prajekst, New Orleans
- Detroit, Michigan
You can accidentally wander into depressed urban areas in almost any metropolis in the prosperous United States. A whole ghetto culture has developed in America, which famous hip-hop artists tell the whole world about. There are no clear reasons why this happened: it could be acute social inequality, a slave-owning past, or high rates of urbanization.
Modern American ghettos
Poor quarters of American cities are mired in crime and social problems. Typically, the population of a single ethnic origin lives in a ghetto: African Americans or immigrants from Latin American countries. Often these are people who came to work and could not adapt to the American lifestyle. The "white" population of the ghetto is drug addicts, prostitutes, drunkards, criminals and homeless people.
Life in the ghetto in the USA is not the best: crimes often happen, people use drugs right on the streetsdrugs and illicit drugs, the police and doctors do not come to the calls, all the walls are painted with graffiti, there are bars on the windows of the houses, any passer-by can be shot from a passing car, and the locals do not work anywhere. Outsiders in the ghetto are very wary and openly hostile.
South Central, Los Angeles
A huge concentration of gangster groups is concentrated in the southern districts of Los Angeles. There are gangs of Mexicans, blacks and Hispanics in the ghetto, whose members differ in style of clothing, tags (inscriptions with a spray can), and a system of bells and whistles. One of the most dangerous modern groups is the Latin American MS-113. The territory of the district is divided between gangs and is practically not controlled by the police.
The history of the ghetto in South Los Angeles began in the 1930s, when African Americans from racist Texas and Louisiana began to arrive in California en masse. The situation worsened during the war. By the early 1970s, there were virtually no "white" neighborhoods left in South Los Angeles. The following scheme was used: one house on the street was bought at an inflated price, an African-American family settled there, and after a while all the houses nearby were sold for almost half the price.
In the same years, street gangs began to form, which were engaged in the drug and weapons trade. Crime flourished in the 1990s. Once upon a time, the police considered the statistics for South Central separately from Los Angeles, but the numbers turned out to be monstrous. Then the southern part of the city was included in the generalstatistics. The numbers moved into the middle and the poor crime district disappeared from view.
Marci Houses, New York
Construction of social real estate for the poor in north Brooklyn was completed by the early 1950s. This place got its name from the eleventh governor of the state of New York, William L. Marcy. The depressive complex consists of twenty-seven six-story buildings, totaling almost two thousand apartments. More than four thousand people live in Marsi.
Once there was a Dutch mill here, but in 1945 the city administration bought the land and began construction. The inconspicuous brick complex was populated by immigrants and workers, mostly African Americans and immigrants from the Caribbean. The area has always been known for high danger. JayZ was born and raised in Marcy Houses, who has repeatedly mentioned these depressing places in his records, talking about shootings, everyday life of drug dealers and police raids.
Pruitt-Igoe, St. Louis
Work on the construction of social housing for young and low-income families began in 1954. The project, designed by Minoru Yamakashi (designer of the infamous New York Twin Towers), included the erection of thirty-three identical eleven-story buildings, which numbered almost three thousand apartments. The area was named after World War II hero Wendell O. Pruitt, a black pilot, and W. Igoe, a white congressman.
At first it was planned to divide the houses into "colored" and"white", but racial segregation was abolished in the state, so the complex became available to all the poor. A few years later, the "white" residents left the area and moved to the suburbs, and Pruitt Airow became the new ghetto in the United States. Residents did not pay for utilities, crime increased, elevators and ventilation, and then the sewer, failed, houses turned into slums, the police stopped coming to calls. Pruitt-Irow is a communal disaster.
Attempts to remedy the situation were futile, so the authorities decided to demolish one of the buildings. It happened live. A few years later, other buildings were also blown up, and the residents were resettled. Today, Pruitt-Ayrow is home to a middle school, an elementary school, and a military academy.
Robert Taylor Homes, Chicago
One of the biggest socially significant projects by the 1970s turned into another dangerous ghetto in the US. The residential complex, named after the black activist R. Taylor, was located in South Chicago. The development included twenty-eight multi-storey buildings of the same type. The first residents moved into the low-income homes in 1962. Instead of the planned 11,000 unemployed African Americans, 27,000 moved to Robert Taylor Homes.
Every year the situation in this ghetto in the USA got worse. Soon, the Robert Taylor Homes neighborhood in south Chicago was characterized by all the typical problems of poor neighborhoods: organized crime, drug trafficking, poverty, division of the territory by local gangs, outbreaks of violence. One dayin one weekend, 28 people were killed in the ghetto, and the turnover from the sale of drugs was 45 thousand dollars daily.
In 1993, the city administration decided to clear the troubled area. By 2007, more than two thousand low-rise buildings, several commercial premises and retail stores, and seven cultural facilities had been built on this site. Despite all efforts, the tense situation in South Chicago continues today.
Magnolia Prajekst, New Orleans
The US ghetto was located in central New Orleans. Everything started according to the standard scheme: the first part of the social housing project was completed in 1941, in 1955 the area was expanded to the north, adding six additional blocks. In Magnolia (officially the development was called CJ Pete Prajects, but in everyday conversation the ghetto was called Magnolia because of the street of the same name), only blacks settled during segregation.
In the 1980s and 90s, funding stopped and the area fell into disrepair. The nearest hospital was closed, the number of crimes increased in Magnolia, and aggressive street gangs appeared. The situation escalated, and in certain years the ghetto broke all records in terms of the number of violence and murders. In terms of crime, the Magnolia Prajekst district could compete with entire cities with an unfavorable environment.
In 2005, the devastating hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the city, including the Magnolia neighborhoods. Three years later, the remaining houses weredemolished by local authorities. The area was renamed Harmony Oaks and landscaping began. Work is still underway. Today, Harmony Oaks is building not only social housing, but also commercial housing, as well as retail stores, cultural institutions, social institutions and schools.
Detroit is not a traditional ghetto. Once the city was the fourth most populated in the United States and the capital of the automotive industry, but since the middle of the last century, the automotive giants began to experience difficulties, the oil crisis hit the economy hard, and the products of local factories could no longer compete with Japanese and European models. Factories closed, and most of the residents left the city.
Today most of the houses in Detroit are abandoned. Many owners are trying to sell property at the lowest prices, but there are no buyers. In the 1980s, up to 800 fires broke out from time to time, because locals burned abandoned houses. The city has been declared bankrupt since 2013. Most of the buildings are planned to be demolished soon.