East Austin : a socio-historical view of a segregated community




Jackson, Robena Estelle

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The prevalence of segregation in Austin, Texas, kindled my personal interest in the subject. While a student in the city, I was amazed at the high degree of segregation in Austin. With the exception of Blacks recruited from other geographic areas for positions at the state university and the small number of professionals working in state government, most Blacks live in one section of the city. In other words, the native Black population of Austin is isolated in basically one community. The segregation of Black Austinites into a single community evoked my curiosity. How did the Blacks in Austin come to live in one segregated neighborhood? Pockets of segregated Black communities are common in American cities but, in Austin, Blacks are isolated on a specific side of town. After questioning long-time residents of the city, I found that in the early history of Austin, Black communities were located on all sides of the city. If these communities had continued to prosper, one would expect to find thriving Black communities in most sections of the city. This assumption, however, does not prove true and this study attempts to uncover the reasons for its fallacy