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|Title:||The architectural segregation of Chicago Black identity in the South Side|
|Keywords:||Chicago South Side;architectural segregation;Black American;identity|
|Abstract:||A well-known Latin proverb states, “knowledge is power”1 and in light of this, theoretically those who possess the most knowledge inherently have the most power. Across the United States, historically, education has been denied to Black Americans as a means to keep them subservient to their White counterparts. Despite slavery being abolished in 1865, while the Black community was newly empowered, they were simultaneously further oppressed as their lack of access to education emphasized the stigma of them as second class citizens. 2 Of particular interest, Chicago, Illinois emerged as a city with a deep-rooted connection to America’s extensive Black community. Built upon the imbalanced scales of Black oppression and empowerment, Chicago is a clear precedent for the ramifications of slavery and subsequent human rights movements. Today in Chicago, the majority of all under- and low-performing high schools are on the city’s South Side. 3 Through decades of redlining 4 and presently maintained preference 5, Chicago is one of the cities with the highest neighborhood segregation indexes in the United States. 6 Despite the change in housing legislation 7, and while the majority of visible minorities have disseminated into White society, the Black community has remained, united in separation within the South Side of the city. Architecturally, Chicago is likewise considered home to modern American design. This city has an impressive historic architectural narrative, but what remains hidden beneath this proud history is the use of architecture as a means for implicit segregation by way of illegal (and at one time legal) housing discrimination 8 and spatial access. Although one design implementation cannot solve years of historic oppression or the disenfranchisement that subsequently followed, this proposal is designed to expand on the conversation and make visible the historic segregation and the current state of events befalling Chicago’s South Side through a socio-architectural lens. The following thesis will question; how the South Side may retain the autonomy and empowerment that segregation has produced, while minimizing the inherent challenges caused by this lack of integration. Furthermore, it will consider the possibilities of how a platform may be programmed which allows for the amelioration of education, promotion of continued Black excellence, and advocacy of Black history.|
|Appears in Collections:||Architecture - Master's Theses|
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