Managed diversity: Contested meanings of integration in post-WWII Philadelphia
In the early 1950s, as neighborhoods around the country experienced widespread racial antagonism and white flight, Philadelphia's West Mount Airy bucked powerful legal and cultural trends to create an institutional mandate toward racial integration. But even as those efforts brought together black and white community leaders under a common goal, there quickly emerged a fundamental disconnect among residents over the meaning of integration; whereas white home owners saw living in an integrated community as a way of legitimizing their identities as liberal, urban Americans, black residents overwhelmingly viewed integration as a means toward achieving a set of very tangible material conditions. At first, this distinction was benign; within two decades, however, the ideological disconnect gave way to a heated battle over the daily experience of integrated living. In the mid-1970s, the growing crisis of crime became the terrain on which battles over local control and racial representation were fought in West Mount Airy. © 2012 SAGE Publications.
Journal of Urban History
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Last Page Number
Perkiss, Abigail, "Managed diversity: Contested meanings of integration in post-WWII Philadelphia" (2012). Kean Publications. 2164.