White Flight

Background
White flight is the term named in America for when white people leave from a urban area to a suburban area for economic reasons or social reasons. White flight can be found in a number of places but mostly in places that went through desegregation.
Detroit has 80% black population and it's suburbs are predominately white. Some factors include urban decay and schools and busing. It is because of white flight that these once largely populated by white communities are now largely populated by
poor inner city people.( Mostly Hispanic and Black)
In Bushwick, you can see that there isn't as many white people as there was in the past when Bushwick was a white neighborhood.
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1960 Map: % Of white people in bushwick

%_White_people_in_bushwick1970.png
1970 Map: % Of white people in bushwick

%_White_people_in_bushwick1980.png
1980 Map: % Of white people in bushwick


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My Research

If you looked at the above maps, you would see that as the decades go by, the white population begins to go down quickly in Bushwick. There is some evidence that white people have fled the area while black and Spanish people moved in. On some recent class walks through some parts of Bushwick, I have taken note on the sightings of white people.
Friday May 29 - On a 40 min walk I spotted 3 white people, (two of which were joining me on our class neighborhood walk.)
Thursday May 21 - On a 40 min walk I saw 5 white people, (two of which were joining me on our class neighborhood walk.)

I did a Interview with Mr.Schwartz and asked him some questions about white flight and the Bushwick history.

Interview Note:--( Some of the following content is summarize/shortened the persons beliefs and answers.(Excerpts) Some things said are not shown in depth but will be explained in further detail.)


Question:- When did "white flight" begin?

Response:- "About 1960."

Question:- How would you describe "white flight"?

Response:- "A mass hysteria."

Question:- What caused "white flight" in Bushwick?

Response:- "It was around a time of cultural and economic change."*

Question:- Do you believe this resulted in more rich communities or poor communities like Bushwick?

Response:- "More like a wealth drain."*

Question:- Who do you believe is most responsible for "white flight"?

Response:- The movers.

Question:- How did "white flight" in the past affect the future of Bushwick?

Response:- "It brought a stable community."" Found Itself.""Process was bad." *

Question:- What are some reasons you believe "white flight" occurred?

Response:- "Psychological manipulation, greed, unfortunate laws.(section 8)." *

Question:- When did the community become so diverse? Why? *

Response:- "1965 Civil Rights Act, !924 - 1964 very-low immigration. After fires, more immigration brought community to life.
Immigrants include Indian, Pakistanis, Philippine's, Chinese, Black Muslim (1980 - 1990), Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian impacted the most."*


Question:- Do you believe urban decay slowed this process?(urban renewal) Explain.

Response:- "Yes, more like urban desolation. Not much Urban decay because it is too general."

Question:- What is the biggest problem of "white flight" in Bushwick? What is the biggest effect on Bushwick?

Response:- "The speed was a shock to the community. It was as if the families were shipped to the neighborhood."

Question:- What are some evidence of "white flight" you see in todays community?

Response:- "The absence of old homes.... The riots."*

Question:- What do you think about blockbusting?

Response:- "Greedy people are doing it." "Riding a wave of uncertainty."

Statement:- (From Mr. Schwartz) "The blackouts show how the people felt about the drastic change."

Question:- How did newcomers feel?

Response:- "People came in and felt abandoned as services left."

Question:- Do you think Bushwick was a targeted community?

Response:- Yes.

Other statements:- (From Mr. Schwartz) It would have been better if it were to happen like it did in southern Bushwick. The buildings sold to people that can afford it. Other areas hurt from this include: East New York, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, and Cypress Hills.

Question:- Would it have been different if it was natural?

Response:- "Yes If It happened like in Southern Bushwick to people that can afford."

Question:- How do you think "white flight" affected schools?

Response:- "Overwhelmed."

Question:- Can you think of Bushwick as a symbol that communities are diverse and not segregated? Why, why not?

Response:- No historically, but it is now.
After the interview I know that there were lots of white people leaving the neighborhoods for better lives as for the other people. Mr. Schwartz also told me that the younger people left their neighborhoods for better lives after WWII. He told me that the felt the neighborhood was nice when they left but came back home, (from money issues) and found a bad neighborhood.
The Bushwick fires wee also influenced by "white flight" and the blockbusting of the neighborhoods. People were mad about their situations that they were put in. Mr.Schwartz told me that landowners planned to destroy the houses to collect insurance money so the people responded by burning the houses down. This started to crowd the houses as people began to move in with relatives. If it weren't for the blockbusting that sped up the "white flight" process, the neighborhood would not be what it is today.
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This Picture Taken In the 1950's
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This picture can show you the integration of the Bushwick community in the 1950's. The black people and the white people lived together in Bushwick and it seems they were enjoying the community. I see from this picture a cleaner and livelier area.
Children Playing on the sidewalk.




In a more modern look of Bushwick you see that the area appears to be more Spanish and Black and not as much white people due to "white flight". I see in this picture that there is a heavy influence of Spanish people that also run stores in the area.
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