Where are the Black Urbanists?
"I didn't realize that this behavior and interest had a name -- urbanism -- until recently. Now, I'm not a hard-core urbanist (Southerners have a natural aversion to paid parking lots and tolls), but still, I'd like to be able to walk around in peace. Bike to a nice full service grocery. Take the bus across town without shame. Get on the train and be in Raleigh in less time than it takes to get down I-40 East.
Problem is, when I look around, I mostly see only one type of person associated with the urbanist label: young, white, and male. Not many young, black, and female, like me. The word "urban," when it's associated with African-Americans, is often synonymous with housing projects, poverty, and the poisoned legacy of urban renewal. Over the years, as various government-sponsored and social ills crept into our neighborhoods, our sense of community died."
Jeffers argues that urbanism isn't just bike lanes and TOD, but rather community-focused issues that people anywhere should be able to relate to or take interest in.