Origin of urban
historical usage of urban
In the early 20th century, factories in northern cities recruited large numbers of African Americans from southern states. This migration north transformed the historically rural Black American experience into an urban one.
In the 1950s, courts outlawed segregation and mandated the racial integration of schools, resulting in decades of white flight . Many white families abandoned inner-city neighborhoods, relocating themselves and their assets to suburban communities. Discrimination over the years kept suburbia largely white and wealthy, enjoying well-funded school districts and other amenities.
Meanwhile, urban life, especially in the inner city , became increasingly associated with poverty and decay. In response, the government built housing projects for low-income residents, but this further concentrated poverty in isolated neighborhoods (ghettos that became popularly known as 'hoods ).
By the end of the 20th century, inner-city urban life was associated with African Americans of low socioeconomic status. Similarly, in discussions about poverty, crime, and drugs, the terms inner-city and urban became convenient euphemisms for Black —a way to avoid implying causality between race and life circumstance.
The term urban can factually describe a particular living situation, for example, urban poverty versus rural poverty. However, as a euphemism for slums, crime, or race, the use of the term urban is inaccurate, outdated, and offensive.
Such use is inaccurate and outdated because city neighborhoods have been steadily changing. Urban renewal and gentrification have brought new residents and assets to city centers. Urban poverty still exists, but its current manifestation doesn’t match the stereotypes of decay, gang violence, and drug culture built around news stories and images from the 1970s and 1980s.
Even more offensive is the inaccurate substitution of urban to mean Black when not referring to city dwellers. If two cowboys get into a fist fight in a rural honky-tonk, and if one of them is white and one is Black, the reporting of that story should in no way refer to one of those men as urban .
Even accurate use of the word urban may raise troubling racial issues. If someone who authentically claims an urban identity creates a line of clothing and markets it to suburban consumers, is calling that clothing urban acceptable? Does the Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album promote recognition of R & B fusion artists, or does it mean that there are two separate but equal Grammy Awards for Album of the Year?
It should be clear whether one is talking about race (Black civil rights leaders), poverty (educational opportunities for low socioeconomic status students), or geography (urban food insecurity and rural hunger).
While the terms urban or inner-city can evoke one specific minority experience in the United States, they should not be used interchangeably with racial identity words like Black or African American . Nor should suburban be used indiscriminately to reference white America. Each of these circumstances and identities is a mix of class and geography, albeit with strong racial associations. The terms urban and suburban should therefore be used mindfully and only when evoking all aspects of those specific American experiences.
OTHER WORDS FROM urbanan·ti·ur·ban, adjectivenon·ur·ban, adjectivesem·i·ur·ban, adjectiveun·ur·ban, adjective
How to use urban in a sentence
We see detoxing as a path to transcendence, a symbol of modern urban virtue and self-transformation through abstinence.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze|Lizzie Crocker|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
There was a lot of positive feedback from people interested in non-gender binary people.Grindr’s Trans Dating Problem|David Levesley|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
She ultimately ditched JSwipe after about a week and found her current, non-Jewish, boyfriend on OkCupid.My Week on Jewish Tinder|Emily Shire|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST
In the wee hours of Christmas morning, a flight deal was shared in an exclusive Facebook group for urban travelers.
Young, hip, urban millennials are using tools like Instagram to become one of the fastest growing travel markets.
The expatriated ex-rebels became alarmed by the non-receipt of the indemnity instalment and the news from their homes.The Philippine Islands|John Foreman
He also states that the Audiencia is virtually non-existent, and so there is no high court in which justice may be sought.
De moi, je ne say qu'en dire, d'autant que je ne veux affirmer ny le si ny le non en ce dont je n'ay vidence.
Certes le capitaine Merveilles et ses gens monstrerent leur pit non vulgaire.
It teaches you to take your time, or as the Germans call it, it gives you "Ruhe (repose)," the grand sine qua non!Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay