We’ve talked about Baltimore’s segregation problem here before, but there’s something about seeing a simple visual representation, as in the map above (by Eric Fischer, via Business Insider), that lays bare the geographic divisions that dominate our city. [The red dots show white people, blue is black, orange is Hispanic, green is Asian, and yellow is other, according to 2010 census data.]
“The average black person lives in a neighborhood that is 45 percent black. Without segregation, his neighborhood would be only 13 percent black,” write Rebecca Baird-Remba and Gus Lubin — and Baltimore is an even more extreme example. A score above 60 on the black/white index of dissimilarity indicates “very high segregation,” and Baltimore’s score is 64.3. (That means that 64 percent of the city’s black population would have to move in order to give Baltimore an even racial distribution.)
The policies and politics of how we came to be here are way too complex to get into in a blog post; check out Antero Pietila’s Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City for a book-length take on segregation in Baltimore.