Locked in the Poorhouse: Cities, Race, and Poverty in the United States

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9780847691357: Locked in the Poorhouse: Cities, Race, and Poverty in the United States

Thirty years ago we had riots in the city streets. Then-President Johnson convened the Kerner Commission to examine the reasons why, and it concluded that the U.S. was "moving towards two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal." Today, the city streets are populated more variously and suffering more quietly, but more people in U.S. cities are poorer now than ever before. As this book shows, U.S. cities are becoming poorhouses for blacks and Hispanics, and city life incubates hopelessness borne of un- and underemployment, criminal victimization, and racial discrimination, especially against nonwhite males.
In an update of the original Kerner Commission report, the high profile authors represented here say they know what works and what doesn't in solving the problems of minorities in the city. To close what has been called "the millennium breach" between and among the races, we as a society must re-commit ourselves to basic principles and public and private programs geared toward more and better jobs, employment training, early childhood education and quality care, inner city economic development, and crime and drug prevention, among other priorities so essential to improving the quality of life for all in American cities.

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About the Author:

Fred R. Harris is a former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma and a former member of the Kerner Commission. He is currently professor of political science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and has authored or edited fifteen books including Quiet Riots: Race and Poverty in the United States.

Lynn A. Curtis is president of the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, the "keeper of the flame" for the work begun by the Kerner Commission in 1968. He is a former urban policy advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, former director of President Carter's Urban and Regional Policy Group, and author or editor of nine books. He is based in Washington D.C.

Review:

In the aftermath of urban disorders in scores of U.S. cities between 1965 and 1967, President Johnson convened the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, commonly known as the Kerner Commission. . . . Locked in the Poorhouse is an assessment of what has happened in the ensuing three decades. Contributors, many of them well-known and respected scholars, show that the conditions that gave rise to the riots of the 1960s have grown worse. . . . Several of the contributors point to the indifference and inaction of the federal government in furthering these destructive trends. The final chapter by Lynn A. Curtis contains a series of intelligent recommendations on how to reverse course, along with a discussion of obstacles that must be overcome and how to fund the programs and policies he recommends. (Choice)

Provides both a good history leading to the Kerner Commission and a good review of what has transpired in the intervening years. (Patricia W. Ivry Families In Society)

This well-researched collection of essays is recommended for university courses concerned with race, poverty, and urban problems. (John W. Critzer Ethnic And Racial Studies)

A compilation of essays by noted experts. (America @ Work)

Locked in the Poorhouse is an impressive and scholarly collection of writings and essays examining American cultural and economic conditions which have given rise to incidents of urban social unrest in the past. This book is very highly recommended and thoughtful reading for students of Urban Studies, Black Studies, and the study of American race relations as impacted by the 1968 Kerner Commission report. (The Midwest Book Review)

Fred Harris and Lynn Curtis have done us a great service by compelling us again to look unflinchingly into the heart of the American dilemma. This book is strong, pragmatic, eloquent, courageous, and unfashionably persistent in pursuing answers to the unresolved agenda of our incomplete and deeply compromised democracy. Enormously important. (Jonathan Kozol)

This volume, with contributions from a cluster of the most progressive social scientists in the U.S., charts what went wrong in the 30 years since the Kerner report's publication. The contributors outline their own bold programme for the future. These are as progressive a set of policies as we have heard in a long while. (Community Care)

This book is well-organized and the nine chapters provide evidence to support the major thesis. It is well-researched and readers will have no difficulty in following the main ideas in each chapter which brings home to the reader the true situation of the various racial and ethnic groups in America. The bibliography is comprehensive and appropriate quotations are used to support points where necessary. The book gives valuable insight into the causes of poverty, inequality, exclusion and oppression. In addition, it points to methods, policy and programmes to deal with the problems of inner cites and equality of opportunities particularly in multi racial communities. (Social And Economic Studies)

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Fred R. Harris (Editor), Lynn A. Curtis (Editor), Jeanne Brooks-Gunn (Contributor), Elliott Currie (Contributor), Greg J. Duncan (Contributor), Paul A. Jargowsky (Contributor), Molly Martin (Contributor), James M. Quane (Contributor), Bruce H. Rankin (Con
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