The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest To Cross Baltimore’s Racial Divide

New Pr. May 2019. 336p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781620973448. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781620973455. SOC SCI
Journalist Lanahan based this book on a yearlong series he did for a radio station in Baltimore. The author examines the historic racial divide in housing in the city and surrounding counties by following African American and white families as they work to end de facto segregation. With an academic background in sociology, the author uses character studies to take a deep dive into the ramifications of flouting the real but unacknowledged racial divide in Baltimore neighborhoods. Lanahan uses microscopic detail of this one city to illustrate a racial tension that continues to simmer in our country. He asks whether it is better to invest in helping people move to areas of opportunity or raise the quality of declining neighborhoods, keeping his primary focus on the Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown. Exemplifying many urban core areas, it has crumbling public housing, high crime, poor access to public transportation, and few opportunities for good jobs. Lanahan highlights a black family who moved to the white suburbs at the same time a group of white evangelicals located a new church in Sandtown and chose to live nearby.
VERDICT A solid choice for those who study urban race relations
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