Segregation has been a consistent theme in our nations history. Those that are “different” are considered to be lesser only because those individuals are not well represented by the public or media. I believe that the separations of communities by race, ethnicity, and/or wealth causes more harm to the people, especially those that are being targeted as minorities. In the United States, we normally have the fight of two groups, black and white. As a nation, we have tried to remedy what little segregation we have left, by implementing Section 8, but what’s left has lingered long enough to cause families, mostly African Americans, to feel the harsher effects to this date.
In the article “A year after Ferguson, Housing Segregation Defies Tools to Erase it”, by John Eligon, we explore the life of the Wade family consisting of mother Crystal Wade, daughter Crystian Wade, and boyfriend Bryant Goston. The wade family are African Americans trying to look for a home using what is called Section 8. Section 8 is a voucher program in which federal officials had hoped would help provide access to high-opportunity communities for low-income people. In other words, help the Wade family get out of, what they believe was, a bad neighborhood for their child and family into something more safe. Even with Section 8, many families can only find homes relatively close by or in a certain “community”. By community, I mean communities that have a high percentage of the same race or wealth. By not allowing people of different color/ethnicity to move around different communities it allows for less diversity and possibly conflicts among the different cultures/races. This is why during the Great Migration, when many African Americans got out of the south and headed west, north, and north east, many white people were scared and afraid their territories were going to be overtaken by African Americans. This then led to the “white flight” which is basically the move of white city-dwellers to the suburbs to escape the influx of minorities.
We also get to read up on Katina Combs who works for the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council. Her job is to send testers to see if any landlords treat people equally and if they don’t she files a complaint. She has personally tested landlords using fake names and a fake background that causes landowners to try to avoid them. This is more apparent when she mentions Section 8, where she is then told to look in other areas not of her choice. These areas are again considered to be areas for minorities giving no hope for social mobility for any families that are no white. Whats worse is that Section 8 vouchers can be refused legally in most places which continue to push blacks in poor communities.
In the end, even though people like Ms. Combs helps fight of segregation, the Wade family was able to find a new home that was marginally better than where she lived before. Mr. Goston says he finds himself wishing that all the things his family wants — a better school, low crime rates, a better neighborhood — were possible but realizes that it’s not what he knows show the cruel reality that it’s hard to be part of the minority group.
Eligon, John. “A Year After Ferguson, Housing Segregation Defies Tools to Erase It.” A Year After Ferguson, Housing Segregation Defies Tools to Erase It. The New York Times, 8 Aug. 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Image of Mr. Goston with daughter Chrystian . Ms. Wade and her family. Depicts the struggles of searching.