Abandoned in the Heartland. Work, Family, and Living in East by Jennifer Hamer

By Jennifer Hamer

Urban poverty, besides all of its poignant manifestations, is relocating from urban facilities to working-class and commercial suburbs in modern the US. Nowhere is that this extra obvious than in East St. Louis, Illinois. as soon as a thriving production and transportation heart, East St. Louis is referred to now for its unemployment, crime, and collapsing infrastructure. Abandoned within the Heartland takes us into the lives of East St. Louis's predominantly African American citizens to determine what has occurred considering the fact that deserted the town, and jobs, caliber colleges, and town prone disappeared, leaving humans remoted and imperiled. Jennifer Hamer introduces males who look for that means and chance in dead-end jobs, girls who usually tackle caretaking duties till good into previous age, and oldsters who've the most unlikely job of shielding their teenagers during this harmful, and actually poisonous, setting. Illustrated with old and modern photographs...

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Hamer. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-520-26931-6 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 978-0-520-26932-3 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. )—Social conditions—21st century. 2. )—Economic conditions— 21st century. 3. Working class—Illinois—East Saint Louis. 4. African Americans—Illinois—East Saint Louis. I. Title. 5’620977389—dc22 2010052399 Manufactured in the United States of America 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 In keeping with a commitment to support environmentally responsible and sustainable printing practices, UC Press has printed this book on Rolland Enviro100, a 100% post-consumer fiber paper that is FSC certified, deinked, processed chlorine-free, and manufactured with renewable biogas energy.

The circumstances of decline were far more harmful to them than to their white neighbors. S. Bureau of the Census report for 1960, 66 percent of the nonwhite population were employed as operatives and laborers and in service occupations compared with 48 percent of the total population. Over one-half of black households earned less than three thousand dollars per year, and among those unemployed, about 80 percent earned less than two thousand dollars the year prior to the report. For white families in the city, the rates were 32 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

Their responses were slightly skewed to the past. They wanted me to know what the city used to be and how it and people’s attitudes and behaviors had changed over time. It was in this round of research that I was able to distinguish myself as someone with a unique orientation and point of view. I was able to discuss with these respondents my own family’s history in the area, my activities in the community outside the university, and local events and bits of news and to demonstrate a genuine appreciation for the neighborhoods and people of East St.

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