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Being White in Philly

Being White in Philly

www.phillymag.com
Kate Thompson Kate Thompson
1 year ago
from the other side of the tracks—African-American kids
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from the other side of the tracks—African-American kids
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People still give them candy.”
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“These kids were so happy and sweet,” Jen tells me.
seems so foreign
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in facts like that, facts that align with what I see when I drive to visit my son in North Philly.
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real connection.
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That I could take the leap of talking about something that might seem to be about race with black people.
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But this is how I see it: We need to bridge the conversational divide so that there are no longer two private dialogues in Philadelphia—white people talking to other whites, and black people to blacks
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Being White in Philly

Being White in Philly

www.phillymag.com
Kate Thompson Kate Thompson
1 year ago
today blacks make up 44 percent of the city’s population, and non-Hispanic whites 37 percent.
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today blacks make up 44 percent of the city’s population, and non-Hispanic whites 37 percent.
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“In 1942.”
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Jen took a look at Bache-Martin, the public school four blocks from her house and 74 percent black: Teachers engaged. Kids well-behaved. Small classes. Plus a gym and an auditorium and a cafeteria, a garden, a computer lab. She enrolled her kids there.

Jen was not in the majority. Other mothers told her, “There is a lot of Greenfield pressure.” That pressure is from fellow Fairmounters: pressure to send their kids, collectively, to the right school. Greenfield test scores are a bit higher. It’s also not nearly so black.

not nearly so black
racial undertones!
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Nobody, through all this, said a word about race. At least not publicly.
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Being White in Philly

Being White in Philly

www.phillymag.com
Kate Thompson Kate Thompson
1 year ago
results in a raw view focused strictly on the here and now
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moral poverty” among inner-city blacks.
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and it’s generally correct:
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“No,” Paul says. “It’s easier to put it out of your mind and not think about it. The truth is kind of a dark thing.
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Being White in Philly

Being White in Philly

www.phillymag.com
Kate Thompson Kate Thompson
1 year ago
there always seem to be a lot of men milling around doing absolutely nothing, where it’s clearly not a safe place to be.
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At the same time, white Philadelphians think a great deal about race.
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about how white and black people relate.
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And if you’re white, you don’t merely avoid them—you do your best to erase them from your thoughts.
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Why would I be teaching in an inner-city school if I’m a racist?
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only a race story,
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seems to be of no consequence whatsoever.
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He’s doing something positive for race relations.
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that race—particularly in a place like Philadelphia—is also an issue for white people.
how?
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