Our first stop was in Harlem. It was prominently a black neighborhood with an occasional white or Asian person walking by. As we explored a little more, I noticed that many of the stores were small, privately owned, ???mom and pop??? stores. The overall condition of the neighborhood was disheveled. There weren??™t any new buildings and there weren??™t any stores with recognizable names. For instance, rather than a Jewels, there was Sandy??™s food mart. There was a small playground next to a school where the swings were broken and the slides were rusted. The playground and school, to me, were a reflection of housing discrimination. Based on the conditions of their homes, the value of these houses weren??™t as great as those in perhaps a suburb. Since school system are based on property taxes, the condition of the playground as well as the small size of the school seem too make sense.
The next destination was Chinatown. Here, the population was mainly Asians. Chinatown consisted mostly of adults, although there were a fair number of teenagers. Many of the residents were immigrants who ran their own restaurants of shops. Again, the shops were mostly privately owned, no major superstores were in sight. The creation of Chinatown was the result of segregation in communities. In the 20th century, many whites rejected the idea of integration with minorities causing minorities to form their own communities. Although segregation isn??™t as prominent as back then, there is still a lack of nonAsian residents around Chinatown. The fact that there is a separate community exclusively for Asian residents shows that segregation is still there, but is less noticed or talked about.
The lack of integration in many city neighborhoods is the results of industrialization. As industrialization grew, minorities flocked to the cities in search of jobs. They faced discrimination on many levels where they were not judged on their merit, but by the color of their skin or their origins. Although discrimination is illegal today, it is still deeply rooted in society. Whether consciously or subconsciously, minorities are still being discriminated against. One trip through the city makes this very clear.