aerial photography of concrete roads

The Interconnection between Infrastructure and Inequality

In his article, “A Traffic Jam in Atlanta Would Seem to Have Nothing to Do with Slavery. But Look Closer,” Kevin M. Kruse explores the connection between traffic in Atlanta and the legacy of slavery. He argues that the current racial discrimination in urban planning can be traced back to the end of the Civil War.

According to Kruse, in the aftermath of the Civil War white people wanted to distance themselves from the recently freed African American population. As a result, they pushed them into ghettos and other impoverished areas.

Kruse’s article sheds light on the lasting impact of slavery on the city of Atlanta and how it continues to shape the city’s infrastructure and social dynamics. By examining the history of urban planning and its ties to slavery, Kruse highlights the need for a deeper understanding of the city’s past in order to address issues of racial inequality in the present. This was followed by laws that enforced racial segregation and further marginalized the African American community.

These laws were only the beginning of the ongoing racial discrimination and segregation that has long defined our world. As a result of African American people being forced into lesser areas of the city, construction and other companies often overlook and demolish those areas, whether intentionally or not.

Kruse’s piece allows for open discussion about the larger themes of American history and racial dynamics. He highlights the connection between the development of infrastructure and ongoing racial inequality, particularly in the creation of the highway system. Kruse also points out the tendency of construction companies to disregard and demolish poorer areas, which are often home to people of color. He further notes that interstates have historically divided black and white neighborhoods, and this pattern remains prevalent in modern society. This can be observed by simply examining smaller areas within a city, where stark contrasts between wealthier and poorer neighborhoods and their respective demographics are evident.

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April 3, 2024 4:30 pm

The title brought me here. I like that you used a highway as the image to connect to the article. You bring out the point Kruse was trying to get across in the city infrastructure.

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