Park University Unit 5 Racial Demographics Race and Ethnicity Discussions

The goal of this discussion is to allow you to analytically and creatively examine the unit’s concepts. Through productive discourse with your classmates, you can expand your thinking to consider other points of view and experiences, and challenge each other to see different analytical perspectives. To do so, it is important to write clearly, give reference or context for your examples so that they are understood, and include citations for the source of the points that you make. Use evidence based claims to support your positions and use a sociological perspective when constructing your posts.


  1. Look at the racial demographics of where you live, and the closest urban area to where you live, using the New York Times Census Explorer.  (Links to an external site.)Describe how space is racially divided, and what the social impacts of these divisions?
  2. Next, look at the Median Household Income Map (Links to an external site.) (you may need to click on “View  More Maps to see this map).  Are there any correlations between race and income that you can identify?  What are the social impacts of the relationship between race and income?

1. Looking up the racial demographics in Massachusetts was very eye-opening. On Hanscom Air Force Base, the demographics are 10% Black, 15% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 66% White, and 6% Other. In the surrounding town that houses the base, the town of Bedford, the demographics are 1% Black, 2% Hispanic, 10% Asian, 84% White, and 2% Other. The greatest population of Hispanic people is in Chelsea and the greatest population of Black people is in Mattapan. The racial majority of Massachusetts is White.

I feel like the biggest social impact is a sense of belonging. The difference in wealthy and poor neighborhoods usually coincides with white and black neighborhoods. According to an article from Yale (Anderson, 2015), there is a profound difference between “white space” and “black space.” The article describes how the typical “black space” is the iconic ghetto that is portrayed in the media today, but the “white space” is the nicer, wealthier neighborhoods and workplaces with the prestigious schools and elegant restaurants. White people can be in the “black space” and it is just assumed that they are of the poor or working class. When a black person enters the “white space” their presence is rejected and questioned because they do not belong. The black person in the “white space” must prove that they are not a danger.

2. Looking up the median household income in Massachusetts was not as surprising to me. In Chelsea, the largest race

is Hispanic at 67% with White at 20% and Black at 5%. The median household income for Chelsea is $56,802 and 16% of the population lives in poverty. In Mattapan, the largest race is Black at 57% with Hispanic at 23% and White at 11%. The median household income for Mattapan is $41,453 and 24% of the population lives in poverty. In Bedford, the largest race is White at 74% with Asian at 15% and Black at 4%. The median household income for Bedford is $128,354 and 2% of the population lives in poverty. These numbers portrayed less of a gap than is presented in the text. According to the text (Gallagher, 2019), an American survey revealed the racial wealth gap in 2009 to be a median wealth for White at $113,149 compared to a median wealth for Hispanic at $6,325 and $5,677 for Black.

Gaps in wealth between black and white households reveal the effects of accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as, differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception. Efforts by black Americans to build wealth have been impeded by many different circumstances from 246 years of slavery, to the discrimination of the Jim Crow Era, to the mass incarceration of people of color today. Wealth was taken from communities of color before it even had the opportunity to grow. The history matters for contemporary inequality because its legacy is passed down generation to generation through unequal monetary inheritances which make up a great deal of current wealth. Wealth is a safety net that keeps a life from being derailed by temporary setbacks and the loss of income, something not awarded to people of color. The racial wealth gap reflects a society that has not and does not afford equality of opportunity to all its citizens.



Where I live right now is in Norfolk, about 94% of the populations is black while the closest urban city to me is Virginia Beach which the population of white people is 73%. Norfolk is mainly a military area but it is also a known black town as well. Virginia Beach on the other hand you may consider the “city” since it is literally on the beach line. Both cities are very urban but to have a little more fun activities people would drive the 25 minutes to Virginia Beach. I think the race is so divided because of what purpose to city may hold. Norfolk is kind of old, there isn’t much new places in Norfolk. Virginia Beach is more new and is still building up. It also cost more to stay in Virginia Beach than Norfolk. When I looked at the other map black people income was much more lower in Norfolk than it was in Virginia Beach. People typically live where their money can afford so since Norfolk is something that matches blacks income they are more thank likely to stay there vs in Virginia Beach; this will go for whites as well. Virginia Beach is also a little safer than Norfolk, this can be a reason in the increase of the cost of living in this city.

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