Chapter 1: Neighborhood Racial and Ethnic Diversity in U.S. Cities

Philip Nyden
Loyola University, Chicago

John Lukehart
Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities

Michael T. Maly
Roosevelt University

William Peterman
Chicago State University


The existence of racially and ethnically diverse urban neighborhoods is one of our Nation's best-kept secrets. Instead of telling about these places, the media regularly report on the continued legacy of racial and ethnic tensions in the United States. As the Nation is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse and the 21st century approaches, social scientists see possibilities of a patchwork of segregated urban neighborhoods or options for more diversity within our neighborhoods. Although diversity and multiculturalism are words in vogue, the current controversy about affirmative action suggests that there is hardly any consensus on the state or progress of race relations in the United States. In private conversations, out of public scrutiny, skepticism about the practicality of diversity -- particularly diverse residential neighborhoods -- is apparent. The politics of race is such a tinderbox that many dare not suggest a variation from business as usual, for fear of igniting caustic debates over this country's history of racism and ethno-centrism and over what our future could look like. To some, the civil rights movement has been relegated to the halls of history -- it is viewed as a movement of days past to be recognized and celebrated once a year.

Chapter 1: Neighborhood Racial and Ethnic Diversity in U.S. Cities (*.pdf)