In the aftermath of the Second World War, democratic rhetoric flourished, and many camps began to reach across the boundaries of class, gender, and religion drawn by the first Northeastern camps.
Since their inception, the mutual programs of the 1940s were created as secondary to individual private homeownership, which has persisted as the dominant model in the decades since. While mutual or cooperative housing has taken various forms, the term typically denotes a buyer purchasing a share in a not-for-profit mutual association where the association (made up of the residents) owns and controls the houses and land.
This article examines the values and policies that have shaped these stereotypes and critiques of public housing in the United States since its beginning in the 1930s. American public housing never fully succeeding is a matter of how we chose to implement it, not a problem inherent to the concept itself.
By the turn of the twentieth century, American visual culture had cleaved two distinct paths for white and black children. Images found in advertising, literature, and social science journals painted a delinquent, diseased, and dehumanized portrait of black childhood. Those visuals stood in marked contrast to angelic profiles of white children. Such a divide held profound consequence, both ideological and practical, in the post-emancipation era—helping to define the boundaries of childhood innocence; the terms of full citizenship; and, among other concerns, the bodily integrity of black Americans.