A Global History of Divided Cities
When we think of segregation, what often comes to mind is apartheid South Africa, or the American South in the age of Jim Crow—two societies fundamentally premised on the concept of the separation of the races. But as Carl H. Nightingale shows us in this magisterial history, segregation is everywhere, deforming cities and societies worldwide.
Starting with segregation’s ancient roots, and what the archaeological evidence reveals about humanity’s long-standing use of urban divisions to reinforce political and economic inequality, Nightingale then moves to the world of European colonialism. It was there, he shows, segregation based on color—and eventually on race—took hold; the British East India Company, for example, split Calcutta into “White Town” and “Black Town.” As we follow Nightingale’s story around the globe, we see that division replicated from Hong Kong to Nairobi, Baltimore to San Francisco, and more. The turn of the twentieth century saw the most aggressive segregation movements yet, as white communities almost everywhere set to rearranging whole cities along racial lines. Nightingale focuses closely on two striking examples: Johannesburg, with its state-sponsored separation, and Chicago, in which the goal of segregation was advanced by the more subtle methods of real estate markets and housing policy.
For the first time ever, the majority of humans live in cities, and nearly all those cities bear the scars of segregation. This unprecedented, ambitious history lays bare our troubled past, and sets us on the path to imagining the better, more equal cities of the future.
PART ONE: ANCESTRIES
1 SEVENTY CENTURIES OF CITY-SPLITTING
Before Race Mattered
The Long Shadow of the Ziggurat
Quarters for Classes, Crafts, Clans, Castes, and the Sexes
Ancient and Medieval Legacies
PART TWO: COLOR AND RACE COME TO THE CITY
2 WHITE TOWN/BLACK TOWN
Governor Pitt’s Madras
The Rise and Fall of American (and South African) Segregation in Colonial Times
The Cross-Colonial Color Connection
Color before Race
3 RACE AND THE LONDON-CALCUTTA CONNECTION
The Modern Way to Split a City
How London Conquered and Divided Calcutta
Race and the Imperial City
The London-Calcutta Sanitation Connection
The West End–White Town Connection
London’s Calcutta Problem
PART THREE: SURGES OF SEGREGATION IN THE COLONIES
4 THE STATIONS RAJ
Paradoxes of Detachment and Dependence
Stations of the Empire
“Bring Your Cities and Stations within the Pale of Civilization”
Stations for Sale?
5 SEGREGATING THE PACIFIC
Incomings and Outgoings
Segregating China’s Gateways
Two Tides in the Pacific
Segregating All Oceans
6 SEGREGATION MANIA
A Call to All Continents
The Germ Theory of Segregation
Segregation Sails East with the Plague
Hunting Rats, Fleas, and Mosquitoes in Africa
The High Tide of Segregation Mania
The Long End of the Craze
Legacies of the Mania
7 THE OUTER LIMITS OF COLONIAL URBANISM
Imperial Monuments, Imperial Tombstones
A French Calcutta?
Splitting Cities, Beaux-Arts Style
Sunset at New Delhi
A Bitter Epitaph
PART FOUR: THE ARCHSEGREGATIONISTS
8 THE MULTIFARIOUS SEGREGATION OF JOHANNESBURG
Archsegregationism and the Wider World
Squaring Race and Civilization
A Keystone of Global Anglo-Saxondom
The Birth of “Separate Development”
From Labor Control to “Influx Control”
Grandparents of the Group Areas
9 THE FURIES FLY IN THE SETTLERS’ CITY
Arrogance and Its Agonies
The Intimacies of Race War
They Will Buy Us Out of the Country
The Birth Pangs of Nation-State Segregation
10 CAMOUFLAGING THE COLOR LINE IN CHICAGO
A Subtler Sort of Segregation?
Segregating the United States
Jim-Crowing the Neighborhoods
Segregation by Profiteer, Protective Association, and Pogrom
A Time for Camouflage
The “Iron Ring”?
11 SEGREGATION AT THE EXTREMES
Split Cities and the Global Cataclysm
Hitler’s “Death Boxes”
A New Deal for America’s Color Lines
The Sinister Synthesis of Apartheid
PART FIVE: FRAGMENTED LEGACIES
12 OUTFLANKING A GLOBAL REVOLUTION
Age of Liberation, Age of Apocalypse
Have Ghettos Gone Global?
Postcolonial and Neocolonial City-Splitting
A New Century of Settler Segregation?
Epilogue: People, the Planet, and Segregated Cities
"This study of the segregation of the world's cities by race since the eighteenth century is an extraordinary achievement. Its scope is truly global, extending from urban Africa and Asia to the cities of the Americas and Europe and synthesizing in the process a vast literature. Through this prism Carl Nightingale weaves a history which brilliantly links the big themes of empire, migration and racialization to the microanalysis of place and space in cities such as Johannesburg, Calcutta, and Chicago. By reconnecting urban history with the history of race in a genuinely global perspective he creates a new fusion that adds enormously to our understanding of how cities became--and were maintained as--sites of segregation and exclusion."
"This is a book of genuinely global sweep, traversing continents and millennia of human history. Yet it is also a wonderfully detailed and nuanced work of archivally based history, particularly in its later chapters, which offer fine-grained accounts of the elaboration of segregationist ideology and practice in two specific cities, Chicago and Johannesburg. This is a terrific book: original, important, and astonishingly broad-ranging."
"Carl H. Nightingale has written a book of enormous ambition--and accomplishment. Moving between broad patterns and local detail, he has produced a global history of modern coerced racial segregation from its imperial origins to postwar suburbanization. It is a history marked by moral passion, clarity of thought and expression, and extraordinary research on all continents. His rich and powerful argument is that segregation has not only been a global fact but also the result of transnational ideological connections, economic practices, and government policies."
"Most of us live in cities shaped in part by segregation, but urban segregation is usually studied in particular cases. Carl Nightingale adopts a world history perspective and ranges from Calcutta and Johannesburg to Chicago and other places. His book is a major contribution to both the study of segregation and comparative urban studies."
“Without a doubt, Segregation makes for a weighty addition to our literature on divided cities—one that should be read by scholars, students, and practitioners alike. Given the sweep and scope of Nightingale's accomplishment, it should not be surprising that we leave wanting even more.”
World History Association: WHA Jerry Bentley Book Award