Friday, June 8, 2012

Richmond: a city still in the midst of segregation

Latrease Gregory moved to Creighton Court after her home in the Blackwell community was demolished for revitalization. Now she said her home is once again being threatened by the promise of a healthier community, but she says the redevelopment in the Blackwell community left some people homeless.
Driving along I-64, a newcomer to Richmond may not be fully aware of what is directly in their line of vision as they enter the city. Creighton Court, one of Richmond’s public housing communities, is one of the first public housing projects that can be seen from the interstate. On a short, 10-minute drive through Church Hill in Richmond’s East End a newcomer may unknowingly drive past five of the public housing sites all within a two mile radius of one another.
John Moeser, professor emeritus of urban studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, said that this concentration of poverty in the East End wasn’t an accident, but rather a means of maintaining the social construct of poverty. Moeser explained that the high density poverty that is concentrated in the East End is a result of segregation and ultimately the lingering effects of the Civil War.