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Old 05-17-2007, 03:49 PM
 
4 posts, read 20,962 times
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Hi-

Life-long New Yorker here. Moving to Chicago for professional school. I read some of the other threads relating to race relations and I'm wondering if someone could offer insight into what neighborhoods might freak me out less... Andersonville sounds good? I dunno. I'm mixed, grew up in mostly affluent, white environments - but always had a diverse group of friends and dated whoever I wanted. I NEVER fit in in "black" communities and know I'm not always welcome in "white" communities. But in NYC, it's not so big a deal. There are neighborhoods where there are dominant demographics. Nothing as limiting as how Chicago is being described here.

Where do educated, middle-upper-middle class mixies tend to end up? When it comes to friends and dating, do we have to "choose?"

Thanks.

Last edited by linicx; 04-01-2010 at 11:54 PM.. Reason: languge
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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hmm. I dont think its nearly that bad. Its not like the 1950's here. Its just that the south side is predominatley black and the northside is predominatley white (or mixed).

No one would think twice about your race in Chicago. The southside tends to be more homogenous (less mixed) than the northside. If I were you, I would head for any of the neighborhoods on the north side (just more to do for a younger person in school). I am not you, but I bet you would feel completley comfortable, and you will find not everyone is white either.

I know this doesn't make much sense...it will make more sense when you visit or move here. It's really not a big deal. Chicago is a big city, with all kinds of people.
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Little Village
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As you've noted from the threads you reviewed, the racism which exists in Chicago is not individual based but, rather, systematic in nature. Low income minorities move into an area and people leave, not because they're prejudiced but merely because they fear for their investment. The low income minorities then get clustered together, which gradually creates pockets of poverty, high crime, lack of economic investment, and, of course, poorly performing schools. Then, people avoid those areas not because they're prejudiced but merely because they want to avoid problems and just want good schools and all the best for their children. And so on and so forth. It's pretty hard to pin down, much less fix.

In other words, if you have a decent income and don't act like a tool, you'll be just fine in pretty much any area in Chicagoland.
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRU67 View Post
As you've noted from the threads you reviewed, the racism which exists in Chicago is not individual based but, rather, systematic in nature. Low income minorities move into an area and people leave, not because they're prejudiced but merely because they fear for their investment. The low income minorities then get clustered together, which gradually creates pockets of poverty, high crime, lack of economic investment, and, of course, poorly performing schools. Then, people avoid those areas not because they're prejudiced but merely because they want to avoid problems and just want good schools and all the best for their children. And so on and so forth. It's pretty hard to pin down, much less fix.
And in that regard, almost identical to NYC. And just about every other non-sunbelt-city. And even some of them too.

Not much difference in race relations between NYC and here, for better or worse. If you got along there, you'll get along here. Everything you've got, we've got: poor minority neighborhoods, middle-class minority neighborhoods, multi-millionaire neighborhoods, hipster neighborhoods, yuppie neighborhoods, artsy neighborhoods, and yes, neighborhoods with blue-collar old-timers and their old-school racial attitudes. Once you get here and look around, you won't have much difficulty telling which is which. It should be pretty familiar, if a little less densely packed.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:03 PM
 
Location: South Side
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Chicago is only historically residentially segregated. That means people work, play, learn and do all sorts of stuff together. In some areas there is a longer history of dealing with mixed race individuals, but, for the most part, people will not assume that both your parents are of the same race. That is, they probably won't make ignorant remarks about a race they do not think you belong to. You can be comfortable just about anywhere. However, I would avoid small taverns in ethnic neighborhoods. They tend to be less warming to outsiders.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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some specific neighborhoods that are pretty mixed include hyde park, albany park, and rogers park.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:17 AM
j33
 
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I agree with the previous posters, I actually grew up as a Caucasian in majority (but still pretty mixed) African American schools and rarely had any problems whatsoever. Most people I knew were friends anyone who was nice regardless of racial background and dated across most racial lines as well. Where there those who were bigots, yes, of course (I remember having the occasional racial slur thrown in my direction and having friends who were not white having the occasional racial slur thrown in their direction), but these people were few and far between.

Honestly, I think that you'll be find moving to most neighborhoods in the city, just Tuesday night I was in a bar watching the Bulls game, a real neighborhood tavern sort of place, and the clientele consisted of guys who were white, black, puerto rican, and a few younger Ukrainian guys who were really into 'the basketball', they were all drinking beer and huddle around the bar TV together.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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Default Thanks

Thanks for your replies. I just wonder how the self-segregation plays out. To be honest, the only upper-class, black professional neighborhood in NYC is Harlem - and that's getting mixed too. Self-segregation doesn't happen so much here. Poor minorities living amongst each other has less to do with choice than circumstance. A lot of what I read here makes it sound like the self-segregation in Chicago is across the board - from poor blacks to rich blacks... If you don't live in a black neighborhood, there's a problem - especially amongst Black professionals. Yes, more whites live in Manhattan than any other part of the city. But if you look at a demographic map, the hunks of solid colors representing ethnicities are smaller and variously dispersed. Chicago, on the other hand, has one gigantic chunk of black neighborhoods.

I talked on the phone with my cousin last night (white guy). First thing he said about Chicago after congratulating me was that it has a "very intersting environment, racially... but you'll be at a University."

What does that mean I'm actually less worried about white racism than black racism. I've never gotten used to the socioeconomic/phenotypic politics in that community. I've always been proud of black history, but never understood why some random dude I've never met in my life would address me as "sister." Are there any blacks and mixed people who can offer perspective?
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:06 PM
 
Location: South Side
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Everyone on earth is mixed. I have lived in several black communities and they were welcoming to all races. My experience is that except for ignorant use of racial epithets or terms, black communities are not hostile to non-blacks. I am curious as to why you feel you did not fit in among those folks in black neighborhoods. However, I am not blind. I know there are high schools in Chicago where it is looked down upon to "act white" (i.e. to study) and where light-skinned blacks are considered less desireable.

A person will address you as 'sister' because he or she perceives a special bond. I have seen a child of a mixed-ethnic marriage who avoided being associated with blacks in a university but this is rare. Because there is such a plethora of skin tones among black people in this country, a black person would be hard-placed to identify your particular admixture or to hold it against you. A univeristy setting will be different than a strictly residential neighborhood both for the absence of some ignorance due to a person never having dealt with other races and usually a more open outlook.

As to black professionals, more middle-income blacks who are from Chicago remain in black neighborhoods than those who move there, although I know exceptions in both categories. Those blacks who are from Chicago seem more open to middle-income black neighborhoods like South Shore, Avalon Park and Chatham, which have very few white people. They tend to remain close to relatives and churches, both which predominate in black-only settings. Blacks moving to Chicago or transferred to Chicago do not have that connection and, generally, when they request relocation assistance, they will not be directed to a place like Woodlawn or Lake Meadows. So they are more likely not to live in all-black areas.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:55 PM
 
4 posts, read 20,962 times
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Quote:
I am curious as to why you feel you did not fit in among those folks in black neighborhoods. However, I am not blind. I know there are high schools in Chicago where it is looked down upon to "act white" (i.e. to study) and where light-skinned blacks are considered less desireable.

A person will address you as 'sister' because he or she perceives a special bond. I have seen a child of a mixed-ethnic marriage who avoided being associated with blacks in a university but this is rare. Because there is such a plethora of skin tones among black people in this country, a black person would be hard-placed to identify your particular admixture or to hold it against you.
Um, this is exactly what I mean. "Acting white" and "placing my admixture" has pretty much meant I should beg for forgiveness and black appoval because I don't listen to R&B/hip-hop/gospel, speak in black slang or with a "black accent." It also meant having random assumptions made about me because of my complexion, having random strangers "perceive special bonds" with me based on phenotype and being perceived as "avoiding being associated with blacks" because I am not always surrounded by black people and being expected to justify myself to blacks who "are curious" as to why I don't fit in.... which is usually code for, "I think you're trying not to be black." Whatever that means.

Thanks for your input though. It really does help. In NYC, that attitude does not reign supreme in the black community. The reason why it concerned me with Chicago is because everyone makes a big deal about how the blacks in Chicago self-segregate and looking at the demographic maps, I was shocked.
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