Normal view MARC view ISBD view

Black picket fences : privilege and peril among the Black middle class / Mary Pattillo-McCoy.

By: Pattillo, Mary E.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c1999Description: xii, 276 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0226649288 (cloth : alk. paper); 9780226649283 (cloth : alk. paper).Subject(s): African Americans -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Social conditions | African American youth -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Social conditions | African Americans -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Economic conditions | Middle class -- Illinois -- Chicago | Chicago (Ill.) -- Social conditions | Chicago (Ill.) -- Race relationsDDC classification: 305.896/073077311
Contents:
1. The black middle class: Who, when, and where? -- 2. The making of Groveland -- 3. Generations through a changing economy -- 4. Neighborhood networks and crime -- 5. Growing up in Groveland -- 6. In a ghetto trance -- 7. Nike's reign -- 8. William "Spider" Waters, Jr.: Straddling two worlds -- 9. Typical Terri Jones -- Conclusion -- Appendix A: Research method -- Appendix B: Groveland neighborhood characteristics.
Review: "Black Picket Fences is a stark, moving, and candid look at a section of America that is too often ignored by both scholars and the media: the black middle class. After living for three years in "Groveland," a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, sociologist Mary Pattillo-McCoy writes, "I had seen three groups of eighth-graders graduate to high school, high school kids go on to college, and college graduates start their careers. I also heard too many stories and read too many obituaries of the teenagers who were jailed or killed along the way. The son of a police detective in jail for murder. The grandson of a teacher shot while visiting his girlfriend's house. The daughter of a park supervisor living with a drug dealer who would later be killed at a fast-food restaurant." Both troublesome and hopeful, these are the discontinuities in the daily life of Groveland residents that Pattillo-McCoy seeks to explain." "Despite arguments that race no longer matters, Pattillo-McCoy shows a different reality: Even the black and white middle classes remain separate and unequal."--Jacket.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
F548.9.N4 P38 1999 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001417955

Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-260) and index.

"Black Picket Fences is a stark, moving, and candid look at a section of America that is too often ignored by both scholars and the media: the black middle class. After living for three years in "Groveland," a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, sociologist Mary Pattillo-McCoy writes, "I had seen three groups of eighth-graders graduate to high school, high school kids go on to college, and college graduates start their careers. I also heard too many stories and read too many obituaries of the teenagers who were jailed or killed along the way. The son of a police detective in jail for murder. The grandson of a teacher shot while visiting his girlfriend's house. The daughter of a park supervisor living with a drug dealer who would later be killed at a fast-food restaurant." Both troublesome and hopeful, these are the discontinuities in the daily life of Groveland residents that Pattillo-McCoy seeks to explain." "Despite arguments that race no longer matters, Pattillo-McCoy shows a different reality: Even the black and white middle classes remain separate and unequal."--Jacket.

1. The black middle class: Who, when, and where? -- 2. The making of Groveland -- 3. Generations through a changing economy -- 4. Neighborhood networks and crime -- 5. Growing up in Groveland -- 6. In a ghetto trance -- 7. Nike's reign -- 8. William "Spider" Waters, Jr.: Straddling two worlds -- 9. Typical Terri Jones -- Conclusion -- Appendix A: Research method -- Appendix B: Groveland neighborhood characteristics.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This book is the product of a three-year ethnographic study of Groveland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. Sociologist Patillo-McCoy challenges the myth that a thriving black middle class has relocated to white suburban neighborhoods, abandoning the black underclass in inner-city wastelands. She demonstrates that the majority of the black middle class are living in black communities, which encompass poor black neighborhoods. As a result, a vulnerable, underemployed black middle class has to contend with inadequate public schools and high crime and poverty rates. Patillo-McCoy focuses on Groveland's multigenerational families, primarily its youth, and neighborhood networks, concluding that the future advancement of African Americans will require that the black middle class be factored into the debate on policies regarding affirmative action, segregation, and poverty. For specialized collections in African American studies, urban studies, and sociology.ÄSherri Barnes, Long Island Univ. Lib., Brooklyn (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Pattillo-McCoy's book quells any pretense that middle-class African Americans are not susceptible to the same obstacles (termed perils by the author) visited on lower-class black Americans. The introduction delineates the supposed progress blacks have made, with affirmative action taking the credit for "wiping the slate clean and balancing the scale" between blacks and whites. Pattillo-McCoy begins by describing the black middle class and the community, Groveland, a suburb of Chicago, where she conducted her ethnographical analysis. The author discusses the intergenerational economic difficulties characterizing today's Groveland versus the Groveland of the past, as well as the sordid side of Groveland. Blackness within the middle class is poignantly displayed in her treatment of growing up in Groveland, from a discussion of the use of Black English and its cohesion-building quality to a spiel on indicators of black male masculinity. Pattillo-McCoy concludes with an assessment of race, class, and place, and offers policy suggestions. An essential addition to the emerging discourse on the black middle class. All levels. R. Stewart; SUNY College at Buffalo

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Mary Pattillo-McCoy is assistant professor of sociology and African American studies and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

There are no comments for this item.

Log in to your account to post a comment.