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Discovering an African American Planning History

  • Joan Fitzgerald
  • William D. Howard
Chapter

Abstract

The planning profession largely has ignored the black community and race issues throughout most of its history. Catlin’s (1993) content analysis of The Journal of the American Planning Association, for example, reveals a dearth of articles, both past and present, which focus on black people or black planning issues.1 Although there have been some recent exceptions, we agree with Catlin’s conclusion that the planning profession’s silence on black concerns, except for the brief 1965–74 period, must be reversed. Further, we argue that this reversal requires us to reexamine planning history from the perspective of race. Specifically, we contend that many new planning and development initiatives being undertaken in the black community could benefit from a deeper understanding of initiatives undertaken during the period 1895–1920. We are supported by other academics in our contention.2 Inclusion of these initiatives in planning history classes would demonstrate a good faith effort to respond to the complaints of many African-American students in urban planning that the curriculum ignores activities in the black community that could inform their planning practice.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Robert A. Catlin, “The Planning Profession and Blacks in the United States. A Content Analysis of Academic and Professional Literature,” Journal of Planning Education and Research 13, 1 ( 1993): 26–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Leonie, Sandercock. “Introduction: Framing Insurgent Historiographies for Planning,” in Making the Invisible Visible: A Multicultural Planning History edited by Leonie Sandercock (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998) 1–36Google Scholar
  3. June Thomas, and Marcia Ritzdorf, Urban Planning and the African American Community: In the Shadows (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1997).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Donald A. Krueckeberg, Introduction to Planning History in the United States (New Brunswick, NJ: Center for Urban Policy Research, 1983)Google Scholar
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    Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1988)Google Scholar
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    W.E.B. Du Bois, The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois, A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century (New York: International Publishers, 1968) 198–99.Google Scholar
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    Francis L. Broderick, “W.E.B. Du Bois: History of an Intellectual,” in Black Sociologists: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, edited by J. Blackwell and M. Janowitz (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1974) 3–24.Google Scholar
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    Elliott, Rudwick. W.E.B. Du Bois: Propagandist of the Negro Protest (New York: Atheneum, 1968) 52.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gayle T. Tate and Lewis A. Randolph 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan Fitzgerald
  • William D. Howard

There are no affiliations available

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