The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore's Racial Divide

The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore's Racial Divide

by Lawrence Lanahan

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Overview

A masterful narrative—with echoes of Evicted and The Color of Law —that brings to life the structures, policies, and beliefs that divide us

Mark Lange and Nicole Smith have never met, but if they make the moves they are contemplating—Mark, a white suburbanite, to West Baltimore, and Nicole, a black woman from a poor city neighborhood, to a prosperous suburb—it will defy the way the Baltimore region has been programmed for a century. It is one region, but separate worlds. And it was designed to be that way.

In this deeply reported, revelatory story, duPont Award–winning journalist Lawrence Lanahan chronicles how the region became so highly segregated and why its fault lines persist today. Mark and Nicole personify the enormous disparities in access to safe housing, educational opportunities, and decent jobs. As they eventually pack up their lives and change places, bold advocates and activists—in the courts and in the streets—struggle to figure out what it will take to save our cities and communities: Put money into poor, segregated neighborhoods? Make it possible for families to move into areas with more opportunity?

The Lines Between Us is a riveting narrative that compels reflection on America’s entrenched inequality—and on where the rubber meets the road not in the abstract, but in our own backyards. Taking readers from church sermons to community meetings to public hearings to protests to the Supreme Court to the death of Freddie Gray, Lanahan deftly exposes the intricacy of Baltimore’s hypersegregation through the stories of ordinary people living it, shaping it, and fighting it, day in and day out.

This eye-opening account of how a city creates its black and white places, its rich and poor spaces, reveals that these problems are not intractable; but they are designed to endure until each of us—despite living in separate worlds—understands we have something at stake.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620973448
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 05/21/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 353,535
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Lawrence Lanahan has written for Al-Jazeera America , Columbia Journalism Review , NPR’s Morning Edition , and Colorlines , among other outlets. A recipient of the Carey Institute’s Logan Nonfiction Fellowship, Lanahan’s The Lines Between Us , a fifty-episode radio series for Baltimore’s WYPR, won Columbia University’s duPont Award. He lives in Baltimore.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Prologue 1

1 One Region, Two Worlds 11

2 In Search of Home 71

3 Crossing the Lines 101

4 One Region, New Worlds 139

5 Spring 2015 203

6 If Not Now, When? 229

Epilogue 281

Afterword 287

Acknowledgments 291

Notes 297

Selected Bibliography 383

Index 385

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