Hey all,

I wanted to pass along some word written by a colleague of mine on the history of racial segregation that formed the backdrop to the Buffalo shooting. There's a reason why he knew Black people would be shopping at that Tops:

"I want to share how our work in Equitable Housing connects to communities like the one on Buffalo’s east side. Horrific tragedy aside, the below NYT article highlights a couple of intersections that you may not be familiar with. Unfortunately, I’ve seen and documented communities like this across the country – albeit in another life. However, I was fortunate to visit this Buffalo neighborhood a few times (prior to the building of the TOPS market – but the planning was underway). Community leaders there gave me the grand tour of the neighborhood and historic Humboldt Parkway which, if you recognize the name Frederick Olmstead, is the landscape architect known for NY’s Central Park and the U.S. Capitol design...."


In Buffalo, it’s one of the few large public spaces near a major metro downtown area and Humboldt Parkway was the spine of emerging black middle-class neighborhood of Hamlin Park in the 1950s.

As was done in many other cities across the country, the construction of highways cut through predominantly Black neighborhoods and served to displace and disconnect communities which led to the continuation of redlining. And Buffalo was no exception. Furthermore, these interventions undercut economic opportunities and activity within neighborhoods by allowing traffic to bypass city neighborhoods for new auto-centric development. The legacy of these roadways has further created environmental justice concerns where low-income and minority communities are now subjected to high volumes of car and truck emissions."

@chewbacca In New Orleans, they destroyed the black Main St of Claiborne in Treme by deliberately running the I-10 overpass down it in 1965.

@chewbacca I don't have a NYT subscription (can't subscribe to everything and too often NYT annoys me so I subscribe to some things that annoy me less on a regular basis like WaPo and The Atlantic) so I didn't read the article you linked and don't know if Baltimore is one of the cities you mentioned, but the Highway to Nowhere is the first place I thought of from "the construction of highways cut through predominantly Black neighborhoods..." I'm sure you know this as both someone who knows about community development and is from the mid-Atlantic region! I was not familiar with Buffalo though.

Of course, thanks to Joe Manchin, Build Back Better still languishes. (Send more Democrats to the Senate in 2022!)


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