The Dignity of Resistance: Women Residents' Activism in by Roberta M. Feldman

By Roberta M. Feldman

This accomplished case examine chronicles the 4 decade historical past of Chicago's Wentworth Gardens public housing citizens' grassroots activism. It explores why and the way the African-American girls citizens creatively and successfully engaged in organizing efforts to withstand expanding govt disinvestment in public housing and the specter of demolition. during the inspirational voices of the activists, Roberta Feldman and Susan Stall problem portrayals of public housing citizens as passive and alienated sufferers of depression.

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Additional info for The Dignity of Resistance: Women Residents' Activism in Chicago Public Housing (Environment and Behavior)

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32 Wentworth Gardens’ Historic Context Chicago’s black community was understandably distressed by the lack of government support for their housing needs, which were the most desperate of all of Chicagoans’ (Hirsch, 1983). The first wave of black migration from the rural South, encouraged by both increased demand for industrial workers and the reduced number of immigrants entering the United States during World War I, increased the black population in Chicago from 30,000 at the turn of the century to nearly 250,000 by 1930 (Philpott, 1978).

Student in history, University of California, Berkeley). Initially the federal government used the powers of eminent domain – the taking of land for public purposes – to acquire the land for the projects. The federal government built and owned the units, which were administered by local agencies. S. Court of Appeals declared the federal use of eminent domain unconstitutional (Birch, 1978; Fisher, 1959; Listokin, 1990). State courts, however, decided in favor of the constitutionality of states’ and localities’ use of eminent domain powers (Schill, 1993), thus pushing for decentralization of the public housing program and creation of local housing authorities (McGuire, 1962).

With the exception of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Veteran’s Administration (VA) programs, federal housing programs are essentially women’s programs. (p. 106) 16 In her book Women and Children Last, Ruth Sidel (1992) examines the nature of the mothering role versus the fathering role in our society. Only partly biological, the “special nature of the mothering role” is contrasted with the “tenuous” relationship of the fathering role. For men their primary importance in the family is still as a breadwinner; thus for men, unemployment or underemployment is far more devastating than it is for women.

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