Question: Just how segregated is Baltimore?
So segregated that a staggering 78 percent of the African-American population would have to move for each of the residential blocks to attain the same percentage of blacks as the current citywide total of 64 percent.
This segregation is in keeping with Baltimore's history of racial separation that was fostered over decades through restrictive covenants and zoning laws. When those practices started to crumble in the 1950s and 1960s and blacks moved beyond designated areas, white panic often ensued. Some neighborhoods, notably Edmondson Village, changed from all-white to predominantly black in just a few years.
Data from the 2000 Census show some decline in Baltimore's residential segregation. But those figures also suggest that as African-Americans move to surrounding counties, segregated pockets form there as well.
According to the 2000 Census, Baltimore is the nation's 17th most segregated city. It had the same ranking in 1990.
The Detroit metropolitan area has the dubious distinction of having the highest level of de facto black-and-white residential segregation, followed by Milwaukee; New York; Chicago; Newark, N.J.; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.; and St. Louis. Residential segregation increased so much in Miami during the past decade that it replaced Philadelphia as the 10th most segregated city.
In a metropolitan area such as Baltimore, stark racial separation produces considerable societal costs. Chief among them are a poor public transportation system, inadequate schools and all kinds of suspicions and phobias.
Negativism persists when people fear one another.