Neighborhood vs Community

How our "communities" have turned into "neighborhoods," and we may never be able to turn it back to the way it was.

As I was listening to a TV show online, the host was very specific that black people don’t have communities. They live in neighborhoods that continually put their citizens in an isochronism of poverty, violence, drugs and lack of assistance from state and federal legislature. African-Americans that live in low-income areas live among these conditions.

When citizens of Baltimore were rioting against the police, one phrase I kept hearing is that, “There burning down their own community.”

What got me so upset is that while a few small stores were burning down, they were mainly burning CVS, Wal-Mart, Target and other corporate owned facilities. I know burning and looting is enough, but let’s not confuse it with this talk like scads of mom and pop shops were being robbed and set on fire.

Let’s define a few key differences between living in a neighborhood and living in a community.

Income Matters

When people live in a neighborhood, it’s usually because of income or sometimes lack of income, thus neighborhoods can be segregated, separating the poor, middle class and the affluent. Street avenue signs and buildings are usually good ways to tell what type of neighborhood you crossed into. Communities can span blocks and are not bound by street signs necessarily.

No One Knows Your Name

In neighborhoods, there is not a sense of togetherness like in a community. You may know some people who live down the street from you, but unless you work together or have a commonality, you might never speak to them.

In communities, it seems friendlier and people work to keep the community safe and clean, they preserve it for the next generation. It’s easy to be friendly when you know people by name, whom you know you’re gonna run into in town who own businesses.

Keep the Money in House

In neighborhoods you usually outsource things that you need and shop for like, food, clothes, entertainment, schools, etc.Communities such as a Jewish community have their own schools, bakeries, shops, synagogues, community patrol and other places to spend money.

Group economics is practiced in communities, but not in neighborhoods. When you practice group economics it spreads throughout the community. For example if you buy a meal from a Chinese restaurant, that owner then goes to someone and buys a TV, from a local electronic store and then that person buys some new clothes from a store shop also in the same community and this process reverberates 10-12 times before it goes to another community.

This keeps the power of the dollar in house.In black neighborhoods, we go to a Korean nail shop for our nails, Asian shop for our Chinese food, hair and laundry. We go to Wal-mart for clothes and white people for money in banks. This is a problem, especially since blacks are estimated to spend this year over one trillion dollars on goods and services. We will spend more collectively than the GDP of Egypt, Turkey, Poland, Australia and 150 other countries.

Where’s the Love?

In communities there are gatherings and other social events. In neighborhoods, the only time I really see people interact with other people in the neighborhood is when there is a BBQ. Also when someone in a neighborhood opens a business, they have a tendency to be met with opposition and reluctance from other people in the neighborhood. Communities want local businesses to thrive, cause they know it means more money being distributed into the area.

These are just a few things I feel are the important differences, but if you have other, please feel free.

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