Schindler’s “Architectural Exclusion” – A Reflection

Schindler’s work on the theory and real life practices of architectural reflection left me bothered, not by her work but by the realization of the world around us. I am thankful for reading her work because it opened my eyes to the overwhelming discrimination and subjugation that many people were already facing. Coming into this reading I have the viewpoint of a 21-year-old black man I am already forced to see everything with my eyes painfully open. Having to be aware of certain hypocrisies and prejudices are second nature to many people of color, and I, as most of us have, had adapted a way of taking everything with a grain of salt. So after reading about architectural exclusion in the work provided by Sarah Schindler I feel even more overwhelmed and suffocated by the world around me. Being a person of color in this day and age is already an uphill battle but I was never aware that our environment was against us as well. When I was reading how government officials would erect barriers such as walls to enclose certain neighborhoods and how access to certain parts of a town were denied by not allowing public transit or inhibiting someones ability to walk safely on the road all disturbed me. Many of the aspects of the environment that were being controlled were aspects that almost directly impacted low-income persons and people of color. Whats worse is that these were not events of the past but many of which are still in place today. I personally live in a housing community which is sort of cut off from the outside world and after reading Schindler’s work I began to realize that a lot of the features of my neighborhood are used to keep people like me out. For one the closest bus stop is a 30 minute hike up a hill. Secondly, any and all highways are about 20 minutes driving distance and any entrance or exit is on the other side of highway facing away from the neighborhoods in our area. My family has always been a low-income family but my mother chose to live in our neighborhood to give us a better start than she had growing up and so to see how much the environment around us attempts to thwart the dreams of people like us is damaging. I do pray that one day as we progress as a people that can love one another that injustices like architectural exclusion are corrected.

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