Social / Demographics
I first visited the African American suburb of Country Club Hills, south of Chicago, as an interviewer for a research project. It seemed as though only race had been reversed: The Maryland suburbs I had grown up in were 80 percent white, these were 80 Black, but otherwise they were so utterly familiar, right down to the floor plan of the split-level ranches, that I knew the layout of every home before I went in.
In research I’ve begun on other Black, middle-class suburbs, however, it turns out that more than color has been reversed. In fact, race reverses many of the things planners have come to see as inevitable.