Under asphalt and concrete: Postwar urban redevelopment in Dallas and its impact on black communities, 1943-1983



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This study, which spans from 1943 to 1983, explores the impacts of Dallas’ postwar urban redevelopment ventures on the city’s black communities. This research argues that decades of stringent residential segregation generated slum conditions in Dallas’ black communities and made them targets for postwar slum clearance projects that ultimately exacerbated blight in these communities. Residential segregation, which forced the establishment and evolution of Dallas’ black communities, ultimately led to overcrowding and dilapidation as the city’s black population swelled. In turn, Dallas city leaders directed a series of postwar urban renewal projects through black communities as part of a slum clearance campaign meant to clear blighted areas and bolster the city’s image. Coupled with residential segregation, Dallas’ postwar urban renewal projects exacerbated slum conditions in Dallas’ black communities by destabilizing social and economic milieus and by intensifying the black housing crisis.



Dallas, Texas, African-American, Black, Urban, Postwar, Slum clearance, Segregation