Core City Politics

The Black Panther Black Community News Service, Vol 1, No. 2. Published on June 20, 1967.

Core City Politics

by Earl Anthony


By 1970 or 1972 many of the major metropolitan cities in this country will be predominantly black. Cities such as Washington, D.C., and Cleveland already have a black majority. Other cities such as Baltimore, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, and New York will have a black majority –  or something very close to it.

The heart of any major city is the downtown area, and the surrounding districts. In this country, what has happened, and what is becoming more the trend each day – is that white people are moving out from the districts surrounding the heart of the cit, and these districts are becoming black communities; or they become communities of other minorities. The white people are moving to suburbian areas many miles from the heart – or the core of the city.

There are many and nefarious reasons for the exodus of white people to suburbian areas away from the core of the city. Among these reasons are: (1) the core of the city is cramped with buildings, factories, etc.; (2) there is no room to build homes with lawns, etc., in the core of the city; (3) the core of the city is usually as old as the city itself and has been allowed to deteriorate; (4) black people and other socio-economically deprived people are entrenched in the core of the city. There are many other reasons which I have not enumerated.

Therefore, the white people have left the core of the city to move to the hills and the outlying suburbs of the city. Also, black people, who are materialistically more fortunate than other of their black  brothers and sisters, and many of whom aspire to the socio-economic standards of white society, abandon the core of the city to hopefully live side by side with white people in the hills or suburbs.

What has been created is a clear line of demarcation in this country. The white people, and a minute number of black people, who have an abundance of economic resources have moved to the outlying areas. They have left the core city for mostly the black people, and other socio-economically deprived people. The white people have the outlying areas,; the black people have the core of the city. The outlying areas have beautiful homes, well paved and well lighted streets, and beautiful lawns and parks. The core of the city has old, dilapidated buildings, small and dirty streets, poor lights, and is conspicuous because of its’ lack of parks and people stacked on top of each other.

Frantz Fanon says in THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH: “The settler’s town is a well-fed town, an easy going town: its belly is always full of good things. The settler’s town is a town of white people…..The native town is a hungry town, starved of bread, of meat, of shoes, of coal, of light….It is a town of niggers and dirty arabs.” Fanon was talking about a colonial situation. What we have in this country with the white people in the outlying areas, and the black people in the core of the city is domestic colonialism.

The difference between the capitalistic colonisation of underdeveloped countries of the world, and the domestic colonisation of black people in the underdeveloped communities of this country, is not one of degree, but one of kind. In the underdeveloped countries – the settlers live outside the town of the natives, but they are constantly using the resources of these people and their country. In the underdeveloped black communities of this country, or the core city, the white people live outside, but they are constantly using the resources of the people, and they control the political institutions of the people within the core city.

This intolerable situation of white people controlling the political institutions of the core city has to be dealt with by black people of the core city. As Webster says: “politics is the theory of managing affairs of public policy or of political parties.” The affairs of public policy would include such institutions as public education, public housing, health and welfare agencies, and poverty programs, which at best are carrying black people toward a state of welfare capitalism.

These political institutions of public policy are controlled by white people who do not come from the black people of the core city. Black people have to start addressing themselves to the politics of the core city. Black people have to move to the position where the people of the core city control the politics of the core city.