I had a realization when I went to pick up my Little Sister at her housing development (projects) this weekend. There is very little difference between the Section 8 housing projects in Oakland and the segregated South or South Africa under apartheid. I've been there on weekends, on weekdays, in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. I have never ever seen another white person. Not one. I have not even seen a Latino or Asian person. I have only seen African-American people there - visitors or residents.
I think I would have noticed earlier if I hadn't been so used to being the only white person when I was teaching. I still have the feeling sometimes of being in a group and thinking, "Oh my goodness, everyone here is white except for me! Wait a minute, I'm white too!" It sounds silly but it's a fairly common for me.
It's fairly disconcerting to realize how very segregated our city can still be. In the Bay Area, in California, in 2010. You'd think we were past that. You'd hope so. But you'd be wrong. If you don't believe me, come to East Oakland with me someday. We'll play the game I taught a friend from another country when explaining the segregation that still exists. It's called "Find the White Person." When you're in that neighborhood, it's almost impossible.
One year ago: Stuffed Animals
Four years ago: SO Predictable.