Madison, Wisconsin: the Danger of Liberal Havens an Analysis of Neighborhood Formation
Carroll, Mackenzie Jordan
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To better explore the question of Madison as a liberal haven, I have chosen to study the low-income, minority neighborhood of South Madison. Due to Madison’s large white population, there is little inter-racial mixing in the neighborhoods. However, South Madison, in contrast to the rest of the city, has relatively high concentrations of black, Asian, and Hispanic residents, and a correspondingly low white population. Ethnic and racial neighborhoods can serve as a support system, and African Americans have made South Madison their own by developing a strong community in the confined space. However, this area is not originally where African Americans wanted to live. Historically, South Madison has always been a racially mixed neighborhood, made so by housing discrimination, redlining, economic inequality, and urban renewal. The neighborhood, in contradiction to the city’s progressive values, was not formed organically or justly. South Madison’s geographic isolation from the city partly contributes to the widespread surprise that its residents face significant inequalities, because the majority of Madison’s citizens are not proximate to the neighborhood or its residents. South Madison’s geographic separateness results in the community’s specific concerns and problems, which differ from white, more affluent citizens, going largely unnoticed. This isolation is the result not only of geography, but also of specific policy decisions made by the City of Madison going back to the 1920s. Today, Madison’s growing Hispanic and Hmong populations live in the neighborhood, and going forward, their voices could be glossed over in a similar fashion to African Americans due to their lack of proximity. To ensure Madison meets its liberal ideals, the City and its citizens must pay greater attention to the members of South Madison.
Low income neighborhood