Girl N’ Tha Hood


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- Essay from jetwriters.com

“The neighborhood culture places pressure on all residence to conform”



In the United States of America, the general path to becoming a successful adult begins at an early stage in life and continues, typically, until the age of 18 when one is able to positively contribute to society. During this period, we are constantly molding our future through the cultural influences of the environment surrounding us, obtaining an education provided through grade school, and expanding upon our socialization skills.


Therefore, a productive culture, adequate education, and the ability to adapt socially are all vital building blocks needed to finish our path to success. Raised in a community that harbors an isolative culture unconducive to success, those born in “The Hood”, a community of low income and impoverished African-Americans created by isolation due to race, lack the resources, social ability, and support required to become contributing members of society.


“the perception of a social structure”



Through my research I will show that “the African American underclass is the most disadvantaged population of the African American urban community” (as cited by Smith). The “high rates of poverty, joblessness, violence, alienation… and hopelessness” (Richardson) are all characteristics of the culture of this community which greatly reduces the ability of its members to become successful contributing members of society.



Therefore, a productive culture, adequate education, and the ability to adapt socially are all vital building blocks needed to finish our path to success. Raised in a community that harbors an isolative culture unconducive to success, those born in “The Hood”, a community of low income and impoverished African-Americans created by isolation due to race, lack the resources, social ability, and support required to become contributing members of society.


“The Great Migration – seemed to promise
an optimistic future”



Mechanization and other changes in agricultural production in the postwar South left many African Americans without work…between 1940 and 1960, more than three million African Americans made their way from the South to Northern cities in search of employment (Nadasen).


After the abolishment of slavery African Americans were in search of better lives for themselves therefore, “The Great Migration – seemed to promise an optimistic future” (McLaughlin). Due to the limited number of jobs available and in search of a better life and higher paying jobs, African-Americans moved their job search northward where the ability to use one’s hand’s was useful in the manufacturing industry. “As a railroad hub and an industrial center, East St. Louis attracted large numbers of workers in search of employment” (McLaughlin). “The city drew significant numbers of black migrants” (McLaughlin)and as a result, “Migration gave rise to ghetto communities, in turn opening up opportunities for black business” (McLaughlin). “Ghetto formation created new opportunities to organize collective resistance and coordinate action through community networks and institution” (McLaughlin).


However, “The northward migration of African-Americans came at a time when the region’s imagined racial order had not fully solidified (Muller)and with so many people migrating, job availability began to dwindle up north. Unlike the south, White Americans were also in search of manufacturing jobs and quickly became aware of the fact that their chances of employment declined with the arrival of every able bodied African-American. “The threat of economic, residential, and status competition… insulated European immigrants… and unified them in their opposition to the arrival of African-Americans (Muller).



“From the point of view of many whites, black people were to be contained in the ghetto” (Anderson), and this viewpoint led to the mistreatment of African-Americans; “Despite high hopes and significant progress, there would be no let-up in or escape from white violence” (McLaughlin). “The reality of life… fell short of any…expectation” (McLaughlin).

“The inner-city ghetto became increasingly impoverished and socially isolated, most often because of structural changes”



Again, the advancement of technology and the low cost of labor in other countries robbed many living in the ghetto of their jobs and changed the structure of life in this area. “Structural inequalities theory has been used to explain the persistently poor and urban population that has emerged as the American economy has deindustrialized and moved out of central cities” (Smith). “Structurally disadvantaged neighborhoods are often characterized by weaker local institutions and diminished access to external resources” (as cited by Richardson). “Medical provision and schooling was separated by race” (McLaughlin).  As a result, “The inner-city ghetto became increasingly impoverished and socially isolated, most often because of structural changes” (Anderson).



The rise in unemployed African Americans opened the doors for White Americans to further hold them back by denying loans through the process of Redlining. “Ethnic minorities and unemployment, and low on income and value of dwellings, can be expected to be a redlined” (Aalbers) which further imprisoned African Americans in the ghetto.

With so many African American’s unemployed and restricted from access to employment, the need for public assistance grew. Because of this need African Americans were further suppressed by there dependency on Public assistance. “The U.S. government operated its early public housing programs on the basis of de jure racial segregation,19 and fostered segregation in the private market by providing low-cost housing loans in a racially inequitable manner (as cited by Hart).



At this point the social isolation of the African-American community gained momentum largely impart due to a decline in municipal resources and White Americans leaving the area in search of employment and housing in the suburbs. Instead of helping, the public housing programs further concentrated the African-American community and “those who remained in the ghetto tended to become more distant” (Anderson), having access to an adequate education, resources required to obtain jobs, and also lacking protection under the law as violence grew daily amongst its inhabitants. Since “Socialization is the way in which people learn the norms and values found in their society, develop social skills, and participate in societal roles that will be continued throughout their lifetime” (Koepke)the “economic and social isolation emerged from the ghetto” (Hart)and in a sense cut its members off from the “real” world.


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©2018 Jean Malek