American Culture In Rebecca Solnit's Nonstop Metropolis

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Geography 70AC Midterm
America has always been called a melting pot because of the many different cultures that combine to form it. However, these differences in race often bring along hostility and violence. In the book “Nonstop Metropolis” by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, they show that we are shaped by the atmosphere around us. They reveal that our beliefs, our values, and our very identity depend on the many cultures and ideas that we are exposed to. The way the city responds to new people will affect the city’s future and its ability to grow and prosper.
In an excerpt from Nonstop Metropolis called “Breathing Space: An Interview with RZA”, a famous rapper discusses how an unfamiliar culture changed his life. He was just an African American kid from Staten Island who liked kung fu movies. He respected
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She discusses how Harlem was previously inhabited by European settlers. It wasn’t until the jazz age that black people came to Harlem. Famous jazz musicians played here even though racism was still a big issue. These famous black musicians were able to play for a crowd, but black people were not allowed into the establishment to watch. This was the first time white people sat and listened to something black people did. This may have been an important first step in whites finally seeing blacks as people. The closeness in proximity to African Americans forced white people to see that they may have something in common with them. Over time, as African Americans gained more rights and power, they claimed Harlem as their own. The change of Harlem from a city of oppression and hatred to a city rich in culture and power shows that cities are dynamic objects. The “white Harlem” was not able to survive because it was not accepting of the new African Americans. Consequently, Harlem was transformed into a place that could meet the needs of its
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