Segregated From Its History, How 'Ghetto' Lost Its Meaning
A history of the word 'ghetto' from the early 19th century to today shows how past prejudice seeps into everyday slang.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after reading Act II, Scene One, in which Mama makes the down payment on a new home, and the family worries about the dangers of moving into an all-white neighborhood. Have students consider how ghettos shaped ideas of where and how people of color should live. What arguments would people in the 50s have against desegregating neighborhoods? What dangers might the Younger family face in trying to enter a white neighborhood? What advantages do they seek in moving out of the ghetto?