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Abandoned in the HeartlandWork, Family, and Living in East St. Louis$
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Jennifer Hamer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520269316

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520269316.001.0001

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In America's Heartland

In America's Heartland

Chapter:
(p.30) Chapter One In America's Heartland
Source:
Abandoned in the Heartland
Author(s):

Jennifer F. Hamer

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520269316.003.0004

East St. Louis is in the suburbs of America's heartland. Suburban spaces are growing at much faster rates than central cities in terms of household income, business growth and development, falling rates of unemployment, and digital access. The city of East St. Louis was established as an industrial suburb, and was developed to promote and protect particular industrial interests. Its government operated primarily to protect investment and industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Great Depression hit East St. Louis particularly hard before the industrial demands of World War II sparked a resurgence. East St. Louis is the city with the highest percentage of African Americans in the nation, but it has a population of just under 30,000. A range of housing remains today in East St. Louis; however, abandoned or deteriorated businesses, multifamily dwellings, and single-family homes dot almost every block and neighborhood.

Keywords:   East St. Louis, America, heartland, industrial suburb, Great Depression, housing, African Americans

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