Mandel School’s Mark S. Fleisher pens piece on impact of immigrants, black American migrants fleeing slavery on Chicago in early 20th century

An article co-authored by Mark S. Fleisher, research professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, was published in the Journal of Black Studies. Titled, “Historical Roots of Chicago’s Contemporary Violence: An Interpretation of Chicago’s Early Sociologists’ Texts on Black Assimilation,’ the piece looks at how Chicago experienced an in-migration of foreign-born immigrants and black American migrants fleeing slavery during the early 20th century.

As population of black Americans increased and dispersed across urban neighborhoods, whites’ anti-black aggression and violence intensified. This paper outlines the mechanisms that account for this discord through an examination of sociological texts.

The work also proposes that a century of racism cannot be mitigated by replacing personnel in administrative agencies, retraining law enforcement personnel and tightening police oversight. Mitigation of systemic law enforcement violence toward black Americans must first recognize the contemporary effects of the history of law enforcement agencies’ institutionalized racism documented by sociologists a century ago. A synchronic account of the origin of that racism lies deeply buried in the intellectual history of early 20th century social science when decades of social researchers misinterpreted the influence of culture and biology on racial behavior.

View the paper online.