• Document: Name: Class: Segregated From Its History, How 'Ghetto' Lost Its Meaning By Camila Domonoske From Npr.Org 2014 In 1943, the word ghetto was used to describe restricted areas walled off area...
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Name: Class: Segregated From Its History, How 'Ghetto' Lost Its Meaning By Camila Domonoske From Npr.Org  2014 In 1943, the word ‘ghetto’ was used to describe restricted areas—walled off areas— where Jews were forced to live in Nazi Germany. Today, Twitter users use the word ‘ghetto’ about 20 times per minute as a descriptive adjective, a fact which has made many cultural commentators speak out. As you read, take notes on how the word “ghetto” has evolved over time. [1] The word "ghetto" is an etymological mystery. Is it from the Hebrew get, or bill of divorce? From the Venetian ghèto, or foundry? From the Yiddish gehektes, "enclosed"? From Latin Giudaicetum, for "Jewish"? From the Italian borghetto, "little town"? From the Old French guect, "guard"? In his etymology column for the Oxford University Press, Anatoly Liberman took a look at each of these possibilities. He considered ever more improbable origins — Latin for "ribbon"? German for "street"? Latin for "to throw"? — before "Warsaw Ghetto Uprising" is licensed under . declaring the word a stubborn mystery. But whatever the root language, the word's original meaning was clear: "the quarter in a city, chiefly in 1 Italy, to which the Jews were restricted," as the OED puts it. In the 16th and 17th centuries, cities like Venice, Frankfurt, Prague and Rome forcibly segregated their Jewish populations, often walling them 2 off and submitting them to onerous restrictions. By the late 19th century, these ghettos had been steadily dismantled. But instead of vanishing from 3 history, ghettos reappeared — with a purpose more ominous than segregation — under Nazi Germany. German forces established ghettos in over a thousand cities across Europe. They were isolated, strictly controlled and resource-deprived — but unlike the ghettos of history, they weren't meant to last. [5] Reviving the Jewish ghetto made genocide a much simpler project. As the Holocaust proceeded, ghettos were emptied by the trainload. The prisoners of the enormous Warsaw ghetto which at one point held 400,000 Jews, famously fought their deportation to death camps. They were outnumbered and undersupplied, but some managed to die on their own terms; thousands of Jews were killed within the walls of the ghetto, rather than in the camps. 1. Oxford English Dictionary 2. Onerous (adjective): severe or challenging 3. Ominous (adjective): giving the impression that something bad is going to happen; threatening 1 Jewish ghettos were finally abolished after the end of World War II. But the word lived on, redefined as a poor, urban black community. From Anti-Semitism To Race And Poverty As early as 1908, "ghetto" was sometimes used metaphorically to describe slum areas that weren't mandated by law but that were limited to a single group of people because of other constraints. That year, Jack London wrote of "the working-class ghetto." Immigrant groups and American Jews were also identified as living in these unofficial "ghettos." Even as those areas were identified, they were already transforming. A 1928 study of American Jewish ghettos explained why such communities were being "invaded" by people of color: "the Negro, like the immigrant, is segregated in the city into a racial colony. Economic considerations, race prejudice and cultural differences combine to set him apart." "Race prejudice" included laws and lending practices, from redlining to restrictive covenants, explicitly design to separate white and nonwhite city dwellers. After World War II, "white flight" from inner cities further exacerbated racial segregation. By the '60s and '70s, so-called "negro ghettos" in cities like Chicago, New York and Detroit were central to the cultural conversation about poverty. "Something must be done, and done soon, to build a strong and stable family structure among Negro ghetto dwellers," an Ebony editorial contended in 1966; countless academic articles argued about the causes of ghetto poverty. [10] And in 1969, Elvis — in his late-career comeback — took a turn for the mournful with "In the Ghetto." Elvis (and many cover singers after him) sings about Chicago’s crowded black g

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