White Flight In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Many Americans wonder why once-boomtowns like Chicago and Detroit have deteriorated into little more than ghetto villages surrounded by skyscrapers. The answer may be found in patterns from mid-20th-century urban segregation. Starting around the turn of the 1950’s, segregation laws intensified between whites and blacks, as portrayed in Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, named after the final line in one of Langston Hughes’ most famous poems. This created an idea of “white flight,” as white, middle-class citizens left urban areas out of fear that the presence of minorities would devalue their neighborhood land. In Hansberry’s story, the black, lower-class Younger family compares to the pattern of white flight observed in the mid-20th century by illustrating the xenophobia of whites, the occasional sleaziness of realtors, and the boldness of the minority groups during this period. White flight became a common trend during the civil rights era. New York Times writer and Princeton economics professor Leah Boustan conducted a study measuring ethnic migration and immigration from 1940 to 1970 in metropolitan cities and “found that for every black arrival, two whites…show more content…
The conflicts experienced by all people during this time period helped build the class archetypes of the “hapless worker stuck in the loop of poverty” and the “rich prude who wants nothing to do with those below them,” as they were so definitely-illustrated in Hansberry’s story. High-prestige economists and historians agree that white flight was partly responsible for the financial deterioration of commercial centers, draining cities like Chicago and Washington D.C. of their ethnic
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