From the moment it was published, the most recent book by sociologist Hugues Lagrange stirred a lively polemic.
Coming from Asia, where I had lived for five years, being a minority in my neighborhood is not something I am unfamiliar with, however, being in Harlem provided me with a vastly different cultural experience than being in China and Hong Kong — a reminder of how unique every country and every situation is.
My largest shock came at what I felt to be a line representing the segregation of communities in New York. I do not see this border as being penetrable to gentrification, in large part due to the focal importance of Harlem in African American culture, Harlem is not a neighborhood.
I moved to the United States ina time when a black president was on his way out and Trump was on his way in.
Racism was an issue, that many people in America had probably mostly brushed aside as mostly resolved or kept under the surface, that was once again in the national spotlight.
Discussion and awareness can ultimately short-change the My neighborhood cultural experience on the ground without deep, institutionalized and deliberate planning. As a Canadian, segregation is a historic pattern studied in school, but it has always been associated more with a more racist deep South in America, not an international city of the caliber of New York.
To have this exist in a city as multi-ethnic and immigrant-friendly as NYC is both a surprise and a confirmation of what I can only see as one of two things: Thus, the question is, are these differences the result of deep-rooted racism and segregation that have been engrained?
Or do we have a natural tendency to live among those most like us? The answer is probably some combination of the two.
On the topic of cultural differences, I perceived there to be a deep-rooted rejection of authority and the law in Harlem. One such example of this was the nonchalant attitude with which people partied and drank on the streets, without regard to the day of the week or the time of day.
I can consistently remember waking up at 3am to the sounds of beats blasting outside the window.
I remember walking home some nights and there would be street parties on any given night. One night, police sirens were on full blast, as the police cars drove through the streets for a few hours. They had requested that the neighbors keep quiet because everyone was raging at 3 am on the street, on a weeknight, keeping the entire block lying wide awake in bed myself included.
It was a reminder to be of the neighborhood that was a little more lawless, a little rougher around the edges, and ultimately a place that I felt rejected the metropolis of which it was a part. I view this as both a response to a community consistently outside of the traditional power structure these rules were designed for, and a rejection of a framework not developed or chosen by these individuals.
Something else I became aware of was the people working blue-collar jobs than those in white collar jobs tend to ignore. Those of us working in white collar jobs more or less live in a bubble, we forget that the median household income in NYC from was just over 60, a year — think about this figure if you have 2—3 kids you need to provide for, in a place like NYC?
Sometimes people do what they need to do in order to get by. When Trump was voted in I remember talking to them and their reaction being that at least Trump was racist to their faces — the Clintons would smile to their faces and then stab them in the back.
For them though, they remained apathetic and felt they were going to be dealt a bad hand regardless of the outcome, so why even bother caring. This would lead me to conclude that the community was isolated from the rest of the city, their interactions with the rest of the city are minimal, as the rest of the city I view as generally apathetic to the plights of the neighborhood.
The reality facing the community was not something I was aware of before moving, and not something anyone else in the city is aware of. In America, money is king, and the neighborhoods that have more of it will be given preference of goods to drive consumer America.
It was a reminder that the poorer parts of the city were in some ways subsidizing other parts. While I rarely felt unsafe, I definitely always felt like an outsider.
Mind you, I am grateful for the experience. Harlem Shake is great, as are a plethora of other little gems there. Go to the local bodegas and pick yourself up a sandwich for half the price of a midtown sandwich that I guarantee you is going to taste twice as good.
Blvd also thwas a reminder of the rich African American heritage in that neighborhood. Some of the local bars had great cocktail drinks with an African fusion mixed in. Dinosaur BBQ was superb, as was being the only white guy on the courts sometimes.
It was the distance to work, the downtown core and Brooklynand most of my friends that ultimately led me to move. The realities of racism and lack of interaction between different communities are things I have constantly been reminded of in America. Racist conservatives will be open about their views, and in certain places remind minorities of these views.
I also view certain minority groups, including the black community in Harlem, to hold racial prejudice of their own at times. Meanwhile, many people who will preach about equality, communication and not being racist, tend to hang out with people who think, act and live the same way they do.
This often includes people of the same race, socio-economic class, and political ideology. Does pushing forward affirmative action help these communities, or does it simply keep minorities in higher socio-economic positions in that same position? Does charging up minority groups for memberships or food to subsidize lower prices for young, educated populations in the upper part of the city an issue that needs to be discussed?
I bring up the Martin Luther quote because I believe that on all sides, there is talk and lack of action, there is deeper reversion to former lines of thinking and lack of understanding of the reality on the ground.cultural athens Athens is a top destination for those who wish to know everything there is to know about this city!
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But if you asked him who he is, and where he’s from, he’d tell kaja-net.com It’s a cultural experience with multi-layered activities including Marketplace, Food Tasting, Performance Spaces, Fine Art, African Spirituality, Wellness Village, Children & Family, African Heritage, Books, Quilting, to name a kaja-net.com /depts/dca/supp_info/kaja-net.com