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Writing the Urban Discourse into the Black Ghetto Imaginary: Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was A Number Runner

Writing the Urban Discourse into the Black Ghetto Imaginary: Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was A... into the Black Ghetto Imaginary: Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was A Number Runner by E. Lâle Demirtürk Starting with the Great Migration in the early twentieth century, the city has emerged as a site of racial geography that constructs blackness and whiteness in terms of spatial definitions. The racialized urban space introduced a cognitive map of the predominantly white city where the ghetto became "an ideological construct" (Sugrue 229) even more than a physical one. Since the 1960s black ghettos have become the subject of serious sociological research that analyzes inner-city communities in close scrutiny. The sociopolitical and ideological constructs that caused the spatial isolation of black Americans were achieved by "a conjunction of racist attitudes, private behaviors, and institutional practices that disenfranchised blacks from urban housing markets and led to the creation of the ghetto" (Massey & Denton 83). Since the historical frame of reference of the term "ghetto" signifies a spatialized term, it also signifies, as the Kerner Report of 1968 suggests, that "white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto" (qtd. in Bernasconi 345). The fact that blacks are confined to the black ghetto is a forceful statement on the ideology of whiteness: the historical and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Writing the Urban Discourse into the Black Ghetto Imaginary: Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was A Number Runner

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 39 (1) – Feb 8, 2006

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461
Publisher site
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Abstract

into the Black Ghetto Imaginary: Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was A Number Runner by E. Lâle Demirtürk Starting with the Great Migration in the early twentieth century, the city has emerged as a site of racial geography that constructs blackness and whiteness in terms of spatial definitions. The racialized urban space introduced a cognitive map of the predominantly white city where the ghetto became "an ideological construct" (Sugrue 229) even more than a physical one. Since the 1960s black ghettos have become the subject of serious sociological research that analyzes inner-city communities in close scrutiny. The sociopolitical and ideological constructs that caused the spatial isolation of black Americans were achieved by "a conjunction of racist attitudes, private behaviors, and institutional practices that disenfranchised blacks from urban housing markets and led to the creation of the ghetto" (Massey & Denton 83). Since the historical frame of reference of the term "ghetto" signifies a spatialized term, it also signifies, as the Kerner Report of 1968 suggests, that "white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto" (qtd. in Bernasconi 345). The fact that blacks are confined to the black ghetto is a forceful statement on the ideology of whiteness: the historical and

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 8, 2006

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