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White Flight/Black FlightThe Dynamics of Racial Change in an American Neighborhood$
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Rachael A. Woldoff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449185

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449185.001.0001

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What Happens to a Neighborhood after White Flight?

What Happens to a Neighborhood after White Flight?

(p.1) Introduction: What Happens to a Neighborhood after White Flight?
White Flight/Black Flight

Rachael A. Woldoff

Cornell University Press

This book explores the ramifications of white flight for race and culture by presenting an ethnographic study of Parkmont, a modern community in a northeastern U.S. city. Settled in the late 1940s as a white working-class neighborhood, Parkmont has experienced firsthand the phenomenon of white flight and a second, less discussed stage of racial change: black flight. Whites began to leave in the 1980s in the wake of the city's efforts to enforce racial integration, and by the start of the new millennium Parkmont had become a majority-black neighborhood. Drawing on three years of fieldwork in Parkmont, this book examines the cultural and social dynamics that occur in the aftermath of white residents leaving a community as well as the ways that white neighborhoods are transformed into black neighborhoods. The experiences of the three groups who remained in Parkmont are discussed: the so-called white stayers, the black pioneers, and the black second wavers. The findings highlight important features of new, predominantly black neighborhoods that emerge in the aftermath of white flight.

Keywords:   white flight, white neighborhoods, Parkmont, racial change, black flight, racial integration, white stayers, black pioneers, black second wavers, black neighborhoods

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