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N. D. B. Connolly on “Black Culture is Not the Problem”

screenshot from AP video of Baltimore protests on April 26, 2015

N. D. B. Connolly, assistant professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and author of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida, on “Black Culture is Not the Problem” for the New York Times:

The problem is not black culture. It is policy and politics, the very things that bind together the history of Ferguson and Baltimore and, for that matter, the rest of America.

Specifically, the problem rests on the continued profitability of racism. Freddie Gray’s exposure to lead paint as a child, his suspected participation in the drug trade, and the relative confinement of black unrest to black communities during this week’s riot are all features of a city and a country that still segregate people along racial lines, to the financial enrichment of landlords, corner store merchants and other vendors selling second-rate goods.

The problem originates in a political culture that has long bound black bodies to questions of property. Yes, I’m referring to slavery.

To read more about A World More Concrete, click here.