Chang chapters 1 & 3

New York City’s affluent members wanted to transform Manhattan into the wealth capital of the world. The master plan put in place by Robert Moses was to construct a system of highways that directly connected the suburbs to Manhattan. Under “urban renewal” (11), the city legally condemned entire neighborhoods that pushed out and displaced existing Black communities to settle in neighborhoods like the South Bronx, Queens Bridge and East New York Brooklyn; neighborhoods where public housing was economically available but employment was non-existent.  Their white counterparts however, took place in what is commonly known as “white flight”, a term used for whites who were given the opportunity to purchase homes in the suburbs of New York while many Blacks were left behind.  In the New York area during the construction explosion initiated by Robert Moses in the 1950’s -60’s middle class whites received “sprawling, prefab, white picket-fence whites only Levittown suburbs” (12). Meanwhile working-class struggling families “got nine or more monotonous slabs of housing rising out of isolating, desolate, soon to be crime ridden “parks” (12).  The poor people that live in these communities were condemned for their economic standing. The listener is left to ponder if the response times and reluctance would be present if white picket fences and a white only neighborhoods were requesting these same services.