Living Apart: Geography of Segregation in the 21st Century Segregation

Authors: Elizabeth Chung*, Christopher Newport University, John Finn*, Christopher Newport University, Jakira Silas, Christopher Newport University
Topics: Urban Geography, Qualitative Methods, Landscape
Keywords: Oral history, Race, Representational Agency, Segregation, Visual methodologies
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: 8229, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Fair Housing Act was signed into law in April 1968. The third major civil rights legislation, it was meant to end widespread racial discrimination in housing. Yet today, most American cities are nearly as segregated as they were fifty years ago. In this presentation we’ll discuss the preliminary results of a multi-year and multi-method participatory-action research project focusing on both the human experience and toll of living in racially segregated neighborhoods in the 21st century. We’ve conducted over 100 oral history interviews, shot photographic portraits of participants, and distributed dozens of disposable cameras to participant-photographers throughout the region. At the same time, we’ve collected documentary and archival artifacts from Virginia’s segregationist past that help to contextualize and better understand the present. The project will culminate in an immersive multi-media exhibition that will be displayed in several museums and cultural centers throughout the urban region.

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