Daniel Trudeau

Publication Date





Debates about the causes of segregation continue to consider the role that own-race preferences have in understanding the persistence of racial residential segregation in American cities. In this paper, I offer an alternative to the own-race preference model. I argue that segregation of low-income Black households from Whites persists in Buffalo, New York, because the spatial rootedness of Blacks’ survival strategies leads households to choose housing in the central city, where their social networks and most Black households live. I illustrate this argument by exploring the multiple reasons for why a group of African American households, who were prompted to move through the settlement of a high-profile housing discrimination lawsuit, chose to relocate to neighborhoods in the central city in Buffalo. I adopt a context-sensitive perspective in making the argument and further argue that such approaches are ultimately useful in capturing the complex reasons that underlie the persistence of segregation.