City Desk

“They Enjoy Interacting With Other Blacks.”

According to this Post story on demographics in Prince George's County, black middle class people like living with other black middle class people!

“They enjoy interacting with other blacks,” Karyn Lacy, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, wrote in her book “Blue-Chip Black,” for which she interviewed dozens of parents in Prince George’s. “Scholars have focused so much on the burden of blackness that they have devoted scant attention to the possibility that there is something enjoyable about being black and participating in a community of blacks.”

Residential integration is not a goal, particularly for younger black professionals born after the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, said Bart Landry, a sociologist at the University of Maryland who has returned to Prince George’s for an update to his 1987 book, “The New Black Middle Class.” He said many residents find comfort, after spending the day in a predominantly white workplace, in returning to a home where all their neighbors are other African American professionals.

“They’re where they want to be,” Landry said. “They’re not thinking about integration. It’s not on their radar screen. . . . Their goal is to live in a community of like-minded, like-valued people, and these are other middle-class blacks.”

Whoa, black people are just like other people. Anyway, the only real issue I had with the story is that it seemed to paint too rosy a picture. It was a good study of the black upper-middle class, but had only one mention of the downsides of living in "Ward 9"—bad public schools—and no interviews with the poor folks living in the county.

Photo by ElvertBarnes via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License

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  • Southeast Ken

    I read the article in today's Washington Post and it has generated almost 500 comments and many comments are racist.

    Race relations in the District of Columbia are not good and until D.C. residents sit down and discuss race and racism within the District, there will be race riots on the horizon. I grew up in Columbia Heights Ward 1. I go there to visit family and friends often. I have noticed, many of the white 20 and 30 somethings that have moved into Columbia Heights, both gay and straight, seem to have chips on their shoulders. They seem to treat blacks as if they are inferior and invisible. I am not making this up.

  • monkeyrotica

    I have a hard time seeing white gays rioting, but I'm sure it will be tasteful. Stranger things have happened. Look at Marion Barry.

  • Mike

    SE Ken. That is complete bullshit. The whites that move to Columbia Heights (and promptly out of Columbia Heights) are treated like an invading Army of misfits by black people who claim it is "their" neighborhood. Racism comes from both sides but many of the residence of gentrifying neighborhoods seem to forget this. But I do agree that everyone needs to sit down and come together regardless of race and stop pointing fingers.

  • Southeast Ken

    @Mike; I am a realist. You have your opinion and I have mine. I choose to live in an all black middle class Southeast neighborhoood, Hillcrest. I feel more comfortable around other college educated black professionals. Why would I want to move to mostly white Ward 3? I wouldn't feel welcome by the whites in this part of the District. Many D.C. white portray they are white liberals and Democrats. I have found many so called white liberal Democrats to be racist from within. Racism is enbedded in this country since slavery. Many whites are taught the N word as young children growing up and to stay away from black people. Asians and Hispanics are taught before coming to the United States, stay away from blacks and make friends with whites to assimilate into white America. Assimilating for blacks hasn't been so easy because most whites see us an inferior.

  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    If they want to talk to some wild yungins out PG -- see my man lil Charles and slim Terry out Addison Rd. Station. They got that fiyah!

    Where's mention of Terrence Johnson? Rest in Peace brother

  • er

    what does a conversation about race in the district look like?
    or rather, what specifically do you think is needed?

  • er

    comments now get moderated?

  • Shani Hilton

    @er just the first one, then you can post at will. see more here

  • er

    i see. thank you.