Violence

The Most Dangerous Communities for African Americans

Black Community Violence

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

Resources Consulted:

ADT Home Defenders | Crime Rates

The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore’s most lethal neighborhoods

News Channel 3 | Study: Memphis neighborhood named most violent in the nation

Neighborhoodscout | NeighborhoodScout Most Dangerous Neighborhoods-2013

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Domestic Violence Ends Where Good Parenting Begins

One of my Facebook friends and loyal readers, Ginnie Ann Daniels, inspired me to pen this present piece about how good parenting can eliminate domestic violence. Ginnie taught her children at an early age about how not to abuse others and those values have persisted throughout their lives. Children are very impressionable. What you do and say to a child can stay with him or her a lifetime. We all know that the horrible things that you say to your child can be very damaging, but we need to know that the positive things that we say to children can last them a lifetime. If we educate our female and male children that it is an abominable thing to engage in abusing others, then we can make significant progress toward ending domestic violence. You have to educate your children about not engaging in any type of violence if we are to end domestic violence. We have to teach children that violence is not simply physical, but it can be mental and emotional. You don’t have to lay your hands on a person to abuse him or her. It is important for us to communicate this to children. When they have an early understanding about abuse and the harm that it does, then the anti-violence values we place in them will be much more likely to persist throughout their adulthood.

I contend that good parenting must include education about how to be a civil person. When you abuse someone, you are not being civil. Parents have a responsibility to teach their children about how to be civil members of society.

Don’t think that just because you have girls that this excludes you from teaching them about not abusing others. Females engage in abusing males too. Don’t get it twisted! It is much less talked about and underreported. Teach your girls about how to respect other females and males.

I strongly oppose parents who rear their boys to become thugs. When you rear your boys to become thugs or to develop overly aggressive behavior, you are making them ripe candidates to be abusive to women. The overly aggressive and thuggish behavior that they develop as little children will most likely continue on into their adult lives. You have a great opportunity to train them as little boys to develop healthier behavior that is going to promote civility.

Schools need to play a stronger role in helping children to learn about and understand the different forms of violence. Our children need to have a more sophisticated understanding about what abuse and violence is. I would like to see schools that use “character education” place more emphasis on educating students about different forms of violence and abuse. I think that even History courses serve as valuable opportunities to teach students about how to avoid abuse and violence and to educate them about the consequences of abuse and violence. For instance, when discussing issues about war, this gives teachers an opportunity to tell students about how abuse and violence played an instrumental role in the causes and consequences of the war(s) being discussed.

Although I want schools to increase their efforts to educate students about abuse and violence, I want parents to place an even greater emphasis on education about abuse and violence. Don’t always look for schools to be the answer to the social, cognitive, and emotional development needs of your children.

I am not saying that you should not teach your children about self-defense, but what I am saying is that you should teach them to avoid unnecessary abuse and violence.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison