Title

"This Place is a Hellhole:" Popular Culture and the Racial Othering of East St. Louis, Illinois

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 12-2019

Publication Title

Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture (1900-Present)

Department

Historical Studies

Abstract

Despite its small population, East St. Louis, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, is, because of its poverty and racial makeup, often described as the inner city. East St. Louis often gets coded as a "Black Place," and its problems are explained in radicalized terms, especially in popular culture depictions of the community. This article examines popular culture depictions of East St. Louis, and popular cultures attempts to mark East St. Louis as a Black place with Black problems.

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