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“Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America” Book Review

His story starts in America’s historically black neighborhoods, where segregation brought people of different economic classes together. Robinson says that began to change during the civil rights era.

“People who had the means and had the education started moving out of what had been the historic black neighborhoods,” Robinson explains.

He cites Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood as a prime example of this because of how Shaw was home to a vibrant black community and a thriving entertainment scene in the 1930s through the 1950s. By the ’70s, Shaw had become a desolate, drug-ridden area.

“In city after city, African-American neighborhoods, that …once had been vibrant and in a sense whole — disintegrated,” Robinson says.

He attributes that change to African-Americans taking advantage of new opportunities, resulting in a more economically segregated community.