Race, space, and struggles for mobility: Transportation impacts on african americans in oakland and the east bay

Aaron Golub, Richard A. Marcantonio, Thomas W. Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

A long history of overt discrimination left an enduring racialized imprint upon the geography of the East Bay. While the benefits of a metropolitan decentralization of jobs, housing, and public investment fell to Whites, discrimination in employment and housing trapped African Americans in urban neighborhoods burdened by infrastructure encroachment and divestment. By circa 1970, overt discrimination succumbed to new, racially neutral, legal, and administrative forms, including regional planning processes. Using an environmental racism framework, we show that these new forms reproduced the existing racialized geography by means of new inequalities in representation and transportation service provision. These new regional transportation policies, like those challenged by a 2005 civil rights lawsuit, favored the mobility needs of more affluent suburbanites over those of African American East Bay bus riders. These policies, layered onto an existing racialized geography, reinforced existing inequalities by failing to address racial barriers to opportunity in the built environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-728
Number of pages30
JournalUrban Geography
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 21 2013

Keywords

  • Oakland
  • Race
  • Segregation
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies

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