TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6 - COMMON TEXT SPEAKER
How Can We Create Equitable Communities?
Dr. Wendell Pritchett, Presidential Professor of Law and Education, The University of Pennsylvania
6:00pm-7:30pm, Library Auditorium
Sponsored by Messina, the Center for the Humanities and the History Department
A Common Text and Stories We Tell Event
About the Event:
As part of the 2015-2016 Common Text experience, Dr. Wendell Pritchett will be joining the Loyola University of Maryland community to discuss more deeply the topics of race, gentrification, urban space in America, and Clybourne Park.
The dynamic Clybourne Park presents its readers with challenging questions about the intersections of race and community, segregation and gentrification in a changing urban neighborhood, marginalized identities and political correctness, and the limitations of our language to equip us to talk about such complicated matters.
Come be a part of the continued learning around the historical and present realities of urban space through this engaging talk by Dr. Wendell Pritchett.
Resources for Attendees:
- Pritchett, Wendell E. "The" Public Menace" of Blight: Urban Renewal and the Private Uses of Eminent Domain." Yale Law & Policy Review (2003): 1-52. http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2199&context=faculty_scholarship
- Hansberry vs. Lee, U.S. Supreme Court Case, 1940 (Note: This is the case that inspired A Raisin in the Sun)
- Nate Silver, “The Most Diverse Cities Are Often the Most Segregated,” FiveThirtyEight, http://www.fivethirtyeight.com, May 1, 2015 (Note: Chicago is #7 for “Most Diverse at City Level” & #1 for “Most Segregated.” Baltimore is #9 for “Least Diverse at Neighborhood Level” & #7 for “Most Segregated.”)
- Richard Rothstein, "Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How our Government Created Ghettos," National Public Radio, Fresh Air conversation with Terri Gross, May 14, 2015
- Emily Badger, “The Long, Painful, and Repetitive History of How Baltimore Became Baltimore,” Washington Post 29 April 2015.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Wendell Pritchett is a leading authority on urban history and politics. Trained as a lawyer (J.D. Yale Law School, 1991) and a historian (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1997), Pritchett is a scholar, legal advocate, and political advisor. He is the author of two major books. The first, Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews, and the Changing Face of the Ghetto, appeared in 2002, Robert Clifton Weaver and the America City: The Life and Times of an Urban Reformer came out in 2008. Both were published by the University of Chicago Press. Pritchett has also authored dozens of articles on urban history and policy issues. His 2008 article “Which Urban Crisis? Regionalism, Race and Urban Policy, 1960-1974” won the Urban History Association Best Article Award. In addition to his scholarly work, Pritchett served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter in 2008, and was appointed by Mayor Nutter to the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Housing Corporation, and the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, among other political posts. He has also done a great deal of legal advocacy work for a variety of organizations related to issues of fair housing practices. Dr. Pritchett has taught and worked as an administrator at the City University of New York, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania, and is now the Presidential Professor of Law and Education at Penn’s law school.
Questions for further reflection and discussion:
1. Clybourne Park is a fictional neighborhood, but it is not unlike many urban neighborhoods in Chicago and cities throughout the United States. Racist housing policies such as restrictive covenants, redlining, and blockbusting were widespread in the mid-twentieth century, which led to entrenched segregation in many urban areas today. Karl predicts, accurately, that the integration of the neighborhood will eventually lead to “white flight” and the devaluation of neighborhood property. What are Steve and Lindsay’s responsibilities to the community they are entering? How do we connect Steve and Lindsay’s present story to past “white flight”?
2. Steve and Lindsey moving into the neighborhood represents a form of gentrification, a common term in urban planning when individuals and companies with access to resources move into deteriorated neighborhoods, renovating homes and businesses but also often displacing long-time residents. What are some of the economic, cultural, and racial implications of gentrification in Clybourne Park, both its possibilities and its limits? Why are Kevin and Lena skeptical of the renovation plans? How is their role on the neighborhood housing board different from that of Karl Lindner in Act I?
3. What have you learned about the realities of fair housing within the city of Baltimore? What additional questions do you have and how will you work to find the answers?