The City: Relational Space

NC State and the City

NC State view of the Raleigh Skyline from Cox Hall.

Space is perceived in a number of ways. As noted previously, it could be viewed as a body in motion or a safe gathering place. However, space can also have greater meaning: certain spaces signify one's wealth, mobility, and political power. Inevitably, space is compared and contextualized. 

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Good Neighbor Council noticed parallels between racially encoded space in Downtown Raleigh and the NC State campus. As students scrambled for off-campus housing or fought for equal treatment in physical space, black Raleighites faced an extreme housing shortage in majority-black Southeast Raleigh. Restricted to specific urban areas, black citizens were simply denied the physical and methaphorical avenues to effect change. Private property and location directly correlated with political power. Whites made it clear that blacks did not have the right to the city. 

In order to directly address such inscribed, institutional racism, the GNC readily provided channels of communication. As a result, the Good Neighbor Council expanded its mission, paired up with the Raleigh Community Relations Committee, and developed greater avenues for critical community-based dialogue.