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Old 08-09-2008, 06:24 AM
 
13 posts, read 68,783 times
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I grew up in Norwood and have always loved the feel of the neighborhoods around Norwood,primarily, Evanston. I know Evanston is racially divided as Norwood once was, but I would love to know if there are any caucasians that live in Evanston. There is a house on the corner of Greenlawn and Jonathan that I am interested in buying and would love some feedback from Evanston residents. Please help me out.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,931,493 times
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Every "Black" neighborhood has a few of us White folks mixed in, primarily due to a better tolerance level of more AA people toward interracial couples than is found among Caucasians. This brings up an important point, that being that there's a clear reason for the paleface's living there: her or his spouse/partner. Ugly incidents are few and far between, but you'd most assuredly be rewarded with skeptical glances if not icy glares in the beginning were you to move to Evanston. For just as too many White people still hold on to the belief that their street will "go downhill" when persons of color so much as show their faces, a lot of Blacks will take your presence as a signal that more like you will follow. And what that potentially can - and often does - mean is that the community will start gentrifying and the incumbent denizens will be priced out of their homes. Does that thought generate fear and hostility? You betcha. Some households in Evanston could be there because yuppies with stars in their eyes made what's now called "Propect Hill" too costly for them. Not everyone given walking papers from Laurel Homes headed across the viaducts either, or was happy to leave.

Although it's reactive when the victims become the perpetrators, racism is still racism. Quite a few AA's plainly and simply hate White people - and since the flip side is true to the extent that it is, it beats me why this comes as a shock to so many. But manifestations of this attitude problem are far less frequent when they're Black-on-White than vice versa. I've had maybe as many as two dozen "stink eye" or assault or verbal-harassment episodes occur in nearly five decades of living and working and going to school in "integrated" settings. A lot of Black folks can meet those numbers in the space of a month or less. Regardless, cordial-but-distant (at least at first) would be the main response as neighbors catch on that the person carrying boxes into the house which just sold isn't one of the movers. After no more than a few months, if not weeks, your face would be recognized as that of a resident. If you are a woman, this means that the horn honkings and catcalls and unwanted attempts at conversation will die down to a degree - exactly as would take place anywhere males are. If you're a man, this means that you'll no longer be presumed to be just another honky out to score drugs or to go after sexual "action."

It would've helped tremendously had you already known somebody from that part of town. The discovery of having a common acquaintance is an excellent ice-breaker: "You work with her? Let me tell you some stories 'bout that girl, heehee." Your credibility is also boosted 100,000% when you're observed walking and talking with a familiar individual. Whenever I'm in the racial minority at a life-event ceremony or other social occasion, heads swivel only to immediately relax and swivel back upon seeing me greet or join the person(s) I'm there with or for. One Black friend in particular, who's blessed with a commanding presence as well as popularity, always calls for people's attention when I and/or other Caucasians show up for something in an AA setting. "I want y'all to say hello to Goyguy, he's part of my family of friends." The dissipation of tension can be felt. Once such an intro has been made, I actually become less conspicuous despite having been spotlighted. For now the gathering has been assured that I'm not a skip tracer or undercover cop or "some dude out slumming." It's no different on the other side of the coin: whispers flew fast and furious at a relative's funeral when a well-dressed AA woman was seen leaving the church. Then somebody said, "That's so-and-so, she's a manager where Dad worked. He was her job mentor ever since she started there as a secretary." Ohhhh...that's very different, isn't it...nevermind.

Don't mind the Mr Manners tutorial. I needed to write it to back up my stating my belief that you should probably think twice about Evanston. Jonathan Ave is one of the safer sections of what can be a decidedly sketchy part of town. The neighborhood has recovered pretty well from being ripped apart by I-71. If you work at Walnut Hills High School the location is ideal. The streets thereabouts are primarily well-kept, the houses mainly taken care of. But folks are casting a wary eye up toward Montgomery and Dana as XU expands its campus. "Who's this White person? From Xavier, ya think? Wantin' to get in while it's still cheap? Uh huh. Or maybe they can't get enough Black (fill-in-the-blank) and wanna be closer to some. S/he looks to be maybe thirty if that, no wo/man movin' in with her/him, I bet that's it." Will everyone carry on that way? Of course not. Will an appreciable number? Absolutely. And there you'd be with no one to give you street cred.
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