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Baltimore is divided into spaces of luxury and wealth and spaces of poverty
and destitution. How did Baltimore come to be materially and spatially segregated by race, and how have those boundaries remained in a postā€Civil Rights era of purported "equality"? To understand this question, this thesis explores the relationship between historical and contemporary urban governance practices; American capitalism and neoliberalism; and racial memory construction. The approach focuses particularly on the implications of these factors for justice and equality in the urban landscape. It argues that the massive disparities between the wealth and neighborhoods of white and African American Baltimore have not arisen naturally out of free market tendencies (as the neoliberal ideology would encourage me to believe). Racial segregation is a construction resulting from capitalist exploitation and accumulation by dispossession, whose mechanisms went form being overtly racist to covertly racist after the Civil Rights Movement and with the rise of neoliberalism. The thesis investigates material histories of exclusion and contemporary constructions of history and memory that perpetuate racism.
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