Oakland and other historically African American cities in the United States have undergone dramatic demographic shifts over the past 20 years. Even as the overall U.S. population has become increasingly diverse, and politicians like President Barack Obama and General Colin Powell have risen to the top, African American cities have seen a steady erosion in both local and national power. New coalitions are developing as the United States becomes a “majority minority” nation. African Americans, who have led the fight for racial justice in the U.S. for well over a century, have a critical role to play in guiding the country toward a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. To get there, our cities will need to start guiding their economic development toward building pan-ethnic/working class power—with an educated, capable population that can guide the growth of their own communities. Some battles will have to be fought by winning community benefits agreements from specific developers, others might be won by citywide ordinances, and still others by collaboration with state and national entities capable of moving a progressive and community-centered politics. In this section we get a glimpse of some case studies of what is wrong and what is right with our polity. —Ed.
Bringing Back the Black
By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Los Angeles Coalition Wins Health Clinic and Jobs from Developer
By Diana Pei Wu
The Oakland Renaissance: A Blessing for Some
By Eric K. Arnold
Europe’s “Living Cities” Model Coming to the States
By Tamar Shapiro
Chicago School Trains Inner City Youth for Manufacturing Jobs
By Erica Swinney
Equitable Growth: Turning Diversity into an Asset
By Angela Glover Blackwell
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