Section 1: Argumentative Essay- Background/Introduction

      According to Anderson (1999) issues affecting the poor inner-city black community relate predominantly to interpersonal violence and aggression. It is a daily phenomenon of city life. Lots of atrocities occur on city streets and reported as being done by blacks as against any other race. There is a spill over into the downtown communities among middle class residents. Often it consists of gruesome attacks on city dwellers similar to the lynchings that occurred during the times when blacks were brutalized on the streets. Similarly, the victims are innocent.  innocent bystanders wind up dead. This violence is now commonplace, creating great concern among social scientists. politicians and society as a whole (Anderson, 1999).

      It is further posited that violence potential is a social construct created through systemic discrimination against blacks in the United States of American generally. Its face appears as the ghetto poor who are deprived proper education through zoning systems sequel to inadequate job opportunities emerging as poverty and dependency upon a welfare system, which stigmatizes the poor into being worthless. They then lead a crime career going in and out of prisons for minor crimes, which blacks carry the heaviest penalties as if correction facilities were designed only for blacks in America. Besides, research shows where 75% of the average black man returns to prison with a year because there are no opportunities for him on the city streets of America. They are deprived of many social services, especially if they had a drug conviction. So, what do they go back to jail if there are no jobs for them? The system creates systemic poverty for Ghetto blacks keeping them deprived, immoral and a pitfall of their ethnography (Wacquant, 1999) 

        Wilson (1999) internalized the works of these two previous scholars to introduce the notion of race tension in all of these accusations of blacks being on the 100 largest cities in United States of America. The tension could be due to racial animosity, which history cannot deny a people moving from 400 years of slavery marginalized. What are they doing taking over white cities?  It was a matter of grave concern. They must be pushed into a non-normal survival mode. Hence. crime and violence on the streets being labelled criminals, drug dealers and the like. Blacks in the city as it relates to the United States of America sociology, has many connotations depending on the city of reference. Dialectical interpretations of this phenomenon from my personal observations reveal that some cities are good while others not so good. It all ends up with what is our goal for investigating blacks in the cities of United States of America and who is making the pronouncements. These same blacks historically were lynched on city streets by white supremacist with impunity.  They were not criminalized. Now ghetto blacks are criminalized for similar crimes forming the largest prison population in America.  Racial tension is triggered by them just being in the cites and some doing well financially just because of their presence in the cities (Wilson,1999). Therefore, the phenomenon of Blacks in the City is dialectical.

Section 2: Development of the Argument

      The Roots of Racial Tension: Urban Ethnic Neighborhoods Wilsonreveal that racial tensions were primarily due to increase in population of nonwhites in relation to a decline of whites. This escalated in the 1990s causing deep concerns for white supremacists who think they owned the cites as well as America. The dialectics of this racism could emerge from whites believing that blacks and Latinos not only are taking over cities but United States of America.  For whites America belongs to whites and whites only. Freed slaves were supposed to find their way back to Africa, which is their home. These were the first racial tensions within cities in the US (Wilson, 1999).

           The evidence relates to the first time in history of United States of America at the beginning of the 21st Whites became the minority in 100 of the largest cities in the country (Wilsom,1999). For example, Chicago showed a great lowering of White population from 38% to15 %. (c) Alternatively, Latinos increased by 41%. Therefore, the tension was high for power regarding jobs and ownership of property (Wilson, 1999)

        Scrutinizing the Street: Poverty, Morality, and the Pitfalls of Urban Ethnography. Wilson (1999) lamented population increases with races other than whites in about 100 of the largest cities in America. It gave rise to racial tension since whites became the minorities for the first time in American history. Scholars such as Wacquant (1999) engage in a dialectical review regarding how Wilson’s race tension phenomenon emerged into Poverty, Morality, and the Pitfalls of Urban Ethnography. The intention was not to degrade but offer an understanding of the struggles facing black people on the streets of these cities (Wacquant (1999)

       Social science does not seek to punish those who have committed crimes or broke the law by either exposing them or holding them accountable for the alternative groups to perceive them less than. The task is for governments to acknowledge the real struggle of disenfranchisement due to color and make the necessary adjustments for equalization within society. Poverty persists due to immoral practices. Some are never given the same life chances as others.  (c)The state in which these cities are found have a responsibility to provide for the residents without discrimination due to ethnicity. This is the purpose of dialectical deliberations concerning city life for blacks in United States of America. It is moving from the sidewalk to Public Policy (Wacquant, 1999)

         The code of the streets. Anderson’s (1999) notion of blacks in the city surrounds the ideology that city streets have codes. This is unlike Wilson (1999) and Wacquant (1999) who focused on life in the city regarding race and ethnicity as well as the social conditions emerging from racial tensions and discriminatory practices. This irregularity led to the evolution of poverty, immortality and pitfalls within the ethnographic reality of city life. But Anderson contends that there is a city code influencing all these behaviors within the city sidewalks or streets as the interchangeable concept a is adopted. For example, Anderson (1999) perceives it as a set of informal rules dictating interpersonal public behavior, which encompasses violence that is immoral. These rules indicate both an acceptable behavior as well as how to respond to the behavior, if attacked (Anderson, 1999).

         The evidence states that City codes influence whether violence is used or aborted. They provide the framework for when, where and how someone can be attacked on the streets as well as measures to prevent an attack. These codes are enacted and regulated by those who know the street culture. Often it is an unwritten language known to street dwellers in a particular city. This could make the street safe for some and unsafe for others. Interestingly, on these same streets can be identified the descent street user as well as the not so descent street engager. Knowledge of the code is a safety mechanism, which can make the streets unsafe for strangers Therefore, while families may not want to comply with the city codes it s imperative for their safety in navigating the city streets, especially for their children (Anerson,1999).

                              Section 3: Refuting Opposing Arguments

                 Anderson’s ideological critique clearly opposes some view established by Wacquant who has a distinct “theoretical” ax to grind—one with an ideological blade. It is believed that he he misinterprets Code of the Street, distorting findings to align with his unique purpose. Essentially, the accusations are willful desecrating the work Alternatively, it is said that

Wacquantot did not adequately address Anderson’s concern, misrepresenting his real motives (Anderson,1999).

        Consequently, collapse of a system occurs, according to the research paper help. Civil law is weakened losing its effect on the street ghettos. Blacks adopt a survival mode of existence reflected in the creation of city or street code. They lacked opportunity in a society that is threatened by their very existence. Therefore, violence among other ills adaptations to an unfair system. “Code of the street” is about “street justice,” revolving around a currency transaction that keeps them safe on  city streets and city communities. It facilitates reputation, respect, retribution, and retaliation in a racist institutionalized environment (Anderson, 1999)

            The Roots of Racism and tension in Urban cities are diverse. Poverty and immortality have nothing to do with a person’s ethnicity nor increasing populations of blacks in the cities.

 Anderson (1999) argues that in some parts of Philadelphia where there are the most depressed ghetto areas, it is observed that communities are divided into two distinct opposing estatus groups.  They consist of the decent and street categories. Importantly, each part functions within its unique value paradigm of Decency. The wider society confirms to the decency philosophy even though not accurately practiced but is convenient as a perception of being good.  This cuts across ethnicity and cannot be alluded to only blacks even though they may be the predominant amount. Again, ghetto does not necessarily mean poverty or immorality. It is simply a lifestyle adaptation in keeping it real (Anderson, 1999)

       Street codes do not always serve as a guide for the city population because within that culture there could be other secret codes known only to gang members. It is argued by Wacquant (1999) that decivilizing and demonizing: the social and symbolic remaking of the black ghetto and Elias in the dark ghetto is impacting. For example, to look at the controversial reality of ho/w  black American ghetto a quarter-century after the splurge of race riots in Kerner occurred. It is fitting to show two interconnected processes. First is material and relational, the other symbolic or discursive. This means an urban racial mutation occurred, which meant decivilizing the code culture among many practices within ghetto cities. The aim is to disintegrate them from large cities where they have become popular. At the same rime they are stigmatized within the racial discrimination institutions of society. Cities where this happen include New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cleveland. Statements were made concerning dysregulation in these cities concerning blacks as being notorious in crime. But these could all be comsidered social constructions to further marginalized blacks The second process, is significantly related to the first being a complex functional relationship. It encompasses demonizing the black urban sub-proletariat in public debate. It is very dehumanizing for the black within city culture. Black now find themselves in the u ‘underclass’ no matter how much wealth they acquired or successful they are academically. They are black and certain spaces they still cannot occupy even with the segregation laws being abolished. Blacks are now within the past decade being recognized as human beings with same brain and blood in the vein (Wacquant, 1999)  .

         Boxill (1999) took scholars to task on disadvantaged youth in city ghettos to say that while black ghetto neighborhoods of the mid-twentieth century were typically very poor, changes occurred overtime. For example, unemployment decreased as well as welfare dependence. There was also a decline in teenage pregnancy. Thus, street codes were not that scary for strangers and those considered decent. Decency thrived because out of wedlock unions and pregnancies were   reduced. Female headed households became unpopular. At the same rate did drug abuse, and violent crime. This is the street code currently of many black ghettos today  Wilson(1999) describes as truly disadvantaged. It is secret ( Boxill 1999).

Section 4: Conclusion

       The discourse embodied in this argumentative essay on Blacks in the city of United States of America explored a dialectical approach towards the phenomenon. According to the works scholars presented regarding race, poverty as well as street codes this ideology of Blacks in the Cities of United States of America has a dialectical orientation, which keeps scholars wanting to explore more continuously about its dynamics. Therefore, the phenomenon of Blacks in the City is dialectical.


Anderson, E. (1999). The Code of the Streets, Harvard Press

Anderson, E. (1999) The Ideologically Driven Critique1. University of Pennsylvania

Boxill, B. (1999). Wilson on the Truly Disadvantaged Chigaco Press

Wacquant, L. (1999) Scrutinizing the Street: Poverty, Morality, and the Pitfalls of Urban

                Ethnography Berkley University

Wacquant, L. (1999) Decivilizing and demonizing: the social and symbolic remaking of

            the black ghetto and Elias in the dark ghetto Berkley University Wilson, W. (1999) The Roots of Racial Tension: Urban Ethnic Neighborhoods. Harvard            Berkley UniverssityPres