Eric M 
Member since May 10, 2013



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Re: “Are We Segregated

Interesting observations, Malina. Having lived quite a few places in the eastern half of the US, then coming back to Indy from time to time, I'm generally taken by how much more relaxed Indy seems to be in terms of race and ethnicity than many places. Obviously we have room for improvement--but Indy doesn't have broad swathes of city that "belongs" to a certain race: i.e., the white/black/Latino side of town. Compare that to many cities in the Midwest, South, and Northeast, some where they can still more or less use a single street to indicate racial otherness. It seems unfortunate to me that Oakland, a city for which I know very little but has always seemed interesting, would auto-segregate through something as mundane as bicycling. But if the organization articulates itself explicitly as "trying to get black people comfortable with riding", then its intentions may not be as invidious--to be frank, I cannot think of a time that I have ever seen an adult African American female riding a bicycle, outside of a specifically organized event (and even then nothing comes to mind).

The few First Fridays I have visited are probably pretty white, but even within it there are little ethnic/sociological sub-niches. The crowd that frequents Virginia Avenue is obviously very, very different from the demographic around Massachusetts Avenue. And as vibrant as the scene in Fountain Square is these days, it's rare that we find any presence of the neighborhood demographic that dominated Fountain Square until recently: working-class white Appalachian/Southern migrants. You'd hardly know that these people were the defining ethnic group of Fountain Square from your typical visit to First Friday.

Posted by Eric M on 05/10/2013 at 1:44 PM

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