Blue-Chip Black: Race, Class, and Status in the New Black by Karyn R. Lacy

By Karyn R. Lacy

As Karyn R. Lacy's leading edge paintings within the suburbs of Washington, DC, unearths, there's a continuum of middle-classness between blacks, starting from lower-middle classification to middle-middle category to upper-middle type. concentrating on the latter , Lacy explores an more and more vital social and demographic workforce: middle-class blacks who dwell in middle-class suburbs the place terrible blacks aren't current. those ''blue-chip black'' suburbanites earn good over fifty thousand money every year and paintings in predominantly white specialist environments. Lacy examines the complex feel of identification that folks in those teams craft to regulate their interactions with lower-class blacks, middle-class whites, and different middle-class blacks as they search to harvest some great benefits of their middle-class prestige.

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Others suggest the emergent black middle class worried that the black lower class was not equipped to interact with whites in the white world and were opposed to racial integration based on the supposed inferiority of the black lower classes. Implicit in this line of reasoning is the emergent black middle class’s disappointment in whites’ stubborn refusal to consider their group apart from the uncultured lower classes. ”19 But the emergent black middle class experienced more distinctions than the one that separated it from the black lower class.

Identity studies should direct more attention to variation in how middle-class blacks sustain racial identities. Chapter 6 reveals variation in the construction of suburban identities by outlining the conditions under which black and white suburbanites in Prince George’s County and Fairfax County form alliances on the basis of shared interests. In majority-black Prince George’s County, where Riverton and Sherwood Park residents grapple with an inadequate tax base, a troubled school system, and the imminent threat of a large-scale tourist development, suburban identities are constructed on the basis of residential location.

OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK The first two chapters lay the foundation for a discussion of variation in the identity options of middle-class black suburbanites. Chapter 1 discusses the literature on black middle-class identity. I review how the group has been operationalized in previous studies and explain why this definition is inadequate. Chapter 2 establishes the role that suburban developers play in orchestrating community life. Through the rules and regulations that they attached to homeowners’ deeds, developers in Lakeview, Riverton, and Sherwood Park imposed a set of core values on suburban residents, a practice that distinguishes Washington’s suburbs from the District, where, in the absence of developers, residents themselves assume responsibility for determining the community’s personality.

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