While crime and violence have generally hit a downward slope over the last couple of decades, African Americans are still disproportionately affected by dangerous living spaces. Places still exist in America where African Americans deal with an irregular amount of drug trafficking, and this drug trafficking leads to significant violent crime and police overreach. Discrimination often results from perceptions about criminality in certain neighborhoods, neighborhoods that are disproportionately black and brown. Below is a list of five of the most dangerous areas for African Americans to live.
East Eh Crump & South 4th St, Memphis, TN
This unnamed neighborhood near Washington Heights in Memphis is reportedly the most dangerous neighborhood in the entire country. The neighborhood suffers from immense poverty, with 78% of its children living in poverty. Ultimately, the predominately black residents there suffer a 1 in 9 chance of being a victim of a crime.
Altgeld Gardens, Chicago, IL
One only has to look at the Chicago Sun Times‘ article listings for Altgeld Gardens to see the sheer wave of shootings and violence in the area. Altgeld is the epicenter for legendary Windy City gangs: the Black Disciples, the Black P. Stone Nation, and the Gangster Disciples.
Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore, MD
This neighborhood is home to jazz greats Cab Calloway and Billie Holiday. It’s also home to Melvin Williams, whose crew served as the inspiration for the Barksdale Organization for the legendary HBO crime series The Wire. According to The Baltimore Sun, the community has been ravaged by violence, especially homicides and gun-related crimes.
West Chicago & Livernois Ave, Detroit, MI
This neighborhood was once ranked as the worst in the country and, despite losing that odious title, it has nonetheless still managed to be crime-ridden and destitute. Vacant houses litter the area, which drives property values down and brings in both vagrants and criminals. At one point, the residents had a 1 in 7 chance of being victimized.
Any neighborhood in Flint, MI
The former automotive epicenter already had a reputation for high crime levels, political corruption, and abject poverty. Then, the city underwent a major health crisis when mismanagement of the city’s water treatment system left scores of people poisoned by their own water. Much of the city’s political infrastructure now faces scrutiny and legal trouble over the crisis. Even though crime remains an important issue for the people of Flint, they have to be more concerned with a safe water supply.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison