World More Concrete Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida
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Description: Many people understand urban renewal projects and the power of eminent domain as two of the most widely despised, and even racist, tools for reshaping American cities in the postwar period. In A World More Concrete, N. D. B. Connolly unearths a far more complex story.Connolly scrutinizes nearly eighty years of history and reveals how real estate and land development in South Florida are expressions of political culture, racial power, and metropolitan transformation. He uses a materialist approach to offer a long view of urban redevelopment and the color line, following much of the money that made Jim Crow segregation a profitable and durable social process in cities throughout the twentieth century. Connolly argues that black and white landlords, entrepreneurs, and even liberal community leaders helped create a political culture that, through rents, took advantage of the poor to generate remarkable wealth and advance property rights at the expense of more inclusive visions of equality. For elite blacks, as for their white allies, uses of eminent domain helped to harden class and color lines. Yet confiscating certain kinds of real estate also promised to help improve housing conditions, to undermine the neighborhood influence of powerful slumlords, and to open new opportunities for suburban life for black Floridians.Concerned more with winners and losers than with heroes and villains, A World More Concrete offers a sober assessment of money and power in Jim Crow America. It shows how negotiations between powerful real estate interests on both sides of the color line gave racial segregation a remarkable capacity to evolve, revealing property owners’ power to reshape American cities in ways that can still be seen and felt today.
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List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 8/25/2014
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall