In his piece, Kruise delves into Interstates as used for both the destruction and segregation of black neighborhoods. This sheds light on the intersection of transportation infastructure and urban planning with broader narratives of American history and race relations. The paragraph explains how major roads and highways were used as boundaries between black and white areas within different cities. This emphasizes the persisting impact of these infrastructural decisions. One historical event that the article specifically highlights, is the deliberate plotting of Interstate 20 in Atlanta during the late 1950s. The intentional placement of this large highway was designed to act as a physical boundary between white and black communities. 

The goal was to push black neighborhoods to one side of the expressway while protecting white neighborhoods on the opposite side. This example demonstrates how urban planning decisions were used to further enforce segregation, even after segregation laws were invalidated and clearly connects transportation infrastructure with race relations. The paragraph also suggests that although racial residential patterns have evolved, the physical evidence of these decisions, such as the I-20, still remains. “Before the Civil War, white masters kept enslaved African-Americans close at hand to coerce their labor and guard against revolts. But with the abolition of slavery, the spatial relationship was reversed.” From a social power/Marxist viewpoint, this is point is crucial as it shows how economic factors—specifically the labor relationship between slave owners and enslaved people—shaped social and geographic structures. 

The change in economic relationships following the abolition of slavery majorly impacted class structures and led to urban segregation. Following the end of slavery, new forms of social and spatial organization that continued to oppress Black-Americans. Class oppression continued despite change in the legal status of segregation.“Civic planners pushed African-Americans into ghettos, and the segregation we know today became the rule.” This indicates that the ones in control of urban planning used this power to enforce class divisions, keeping the black-American community in disadvantaged positions – all of which were justified by the economic benefits to the ruling class.

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Talha
April 5, 2024 10:27 pm

Wow, the writing grasps your attention and keeps through the entirety of the piece. The way you were able take separate points and ideas and connect them to an idea was brilliant. I think the image selection was cheeky too, I can see the connection after reading the text.

Abduljaleel
April 5, 2024 12:48 pm

I was immediately drawn to the stunning image on the front of this post when I first saw it. Your explanation of Atlanta traffic is quite interesting, and I truly like it. I have read a lot of other posts, but not as much as I have read yours.

Devon
April 5, 2024 4:25 am

When i first saw this post the image on the front grabbed my attention fast. I really enjoy the way that you explain the traffic in Atlanta and it is really engaging. Many other posts have had my attention but not to the extent your has. Great Job!

Luvly
April 5, 2024 4:04 am

Nuria, you never fail to amaze me! You capture the traffic in Atlanta beautifully that is one of the reasons why it has drawn me to your article. Your essay effectively engages with Kruse’s analysis and offers valuable insights into the connections between transportation infrastructure, urban planning, and racial segregation in American cities. With some additional context and exploration of contemporary implications, it has the potential to deepen readers’ understanding of these important issues and inspire further inquiry and action.

Emanuel
April 4, 2024 8:38 pm

This is my third comment about an image catching my eyes but for this one its especially true, the lines couldn’t help but stand out compared to everyone else. You present your ideas really well within your text! I like how you highlight certain events and places within your text.

Avianna
April 4, 2024 12:36 pm

Your work is extremely detailed and very informative. The image as well is so detailed and makes me wonder how you were able to capture it. You did a great job!

Cassidy
April 3, 2024 4:50 pm

Your image that you created for you writing caught my eye, I like how intricate it is. Your writing also does a good job with touching on the topic of how African Americans are still oppressed today in regards to roads built overtop of so many Black neighborhoods that were established beforehand. Lastly, you also did good with telling how that unfortunately we have a ruling class in our society.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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