Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class

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University of Chicago Press, Nov 1, 2000 - Social Science - 283 pages
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Black Picket Fences is a stark, moving, and candid look at a section of America that is too often ignored by both scholars and the media: the black middle class. The result of living for three years in "Groveland," a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, sociologist Mary Pattillo-McCoy has written a book that explores both the advantages and the boundaries that exist for members of the black middle class. Despite arguments that race no longer matters, Pattillo-McCoy shows a different reality, one where black and white middle classes remain separate and unequal.

"An insightful look at the socio-economic experiences of the black middle class. . . . Through the prism of a South Side Chicago neighborhood, the author shows the distinctly different reality middle-class blacks face as opposed to middle-class whites." —Ebony

"A detailed and well-written account of one neighborhood's struggle to remain a haven of stability and prosperity in the midst of the cyclone that is the American economy." —Emerge

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This book is the product of a three-year ethnographic study of Groveland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. Sociologist Patillo-McCoy challenges the myth that a thriving black ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Mary Pattillo-McCoy is an assistant professor of sociology and African American studies and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

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