Date of Original Version

1997

Type

Article

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Public housing conjures up images of rows of brick structures, open windows, and children playing outside. The media often emphasize the slum image of public housing, but to many Pittsburgh residents this community is a way of life. Why would a person choose to raise a family in a cluster of houses connected so closely that neighbors can hear every argument or sound of laughter? For many local Blacks, public housing issues play a long, dark history in their past. Through racial tensions, corruption, and greed, many of these communities were created as a direct result of the careful manipulation of the Black population by government agencies. From the 1950s through the 1960s, Blacks were forced out of their homes and had little choice concerning where they could live; nor did they have the power to resist the pressures that made it difficult for them to move into private homes. Through processes like Redevelopment combined with factors like prejudice, the Black population in Pittsburgh was intentionally steered to live in public housing, condemned to a lifetime of communal living or—more accurately—segregation.

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Published In

The Sloping Halls Review, 4.