Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race


with 3 comments

Below is a link to an article that discusses the origin of the word “ghetto”. It emphasizes that the word has been used in numerous contexts and carried various meanings in its history. Early on, it promoted social separation of certain groups, specifically, Jews. After World War II, the term entered American culture to describe an overpopulated, poor section of a city, usually inhabited by African Americans, Chicanos or other minorities. According to the article, this word can also signify something positive. For example, it can represent authentic blackness. I still hear this word being used today, often to describe any neighborhood that is predominantly African American.  I am uncomfortable with both using this term and hearing this term because of its negative connotation associated with poverty, or sub-standard living conditions. I am curious to find out how you all view this term, whether it truly does have a negative connotation and furthermore, whether prejudice, or even racism underlies the use of this term.


Written by carlyeg

October 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Usually when people say ghetto they do mean Black neighborhood. Ghetto is sometimes used to describe a part of Black Culture, ‘That’s ghetto.’ This term should be stop being referenced to Blacks as it puts Blacks, by norm, in the lower class of society, as if that is where they should be.


    October 6, 2009 at 7:56 pm

  2. Yeah in the high school I went to everyone associated the word ghetto with all black areas and some people would even brag that they’ve been through a ghetto before or something along those lines like it was cool to walk through a ghetto. Basically everyone took the term ghetto lightly, which is probably because they don’t what it’s like to live in one or what they’re actually like. It’s not cool to live in a ghetto neighborhood, there’s segregation, poverty, and violence.


    October 8, 2009 at 5:11 pm

  3. I have thought about this before and definitely think that the word ghetto has taken on a negative meaning. Whenever I have heard it used it has been in a pretty derogatory sense. I feel like it can be used in a professional manner to refer to a certain area but most people don’t understand the real definition of the word so it’s hard to say.


    October 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

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