Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Stories of Keeping the City Out of the Suburbs

  • Kurtz K. Miller Miami University
Keywords: suburbanization, white flight, currere, autobiographical storytelling, curriculum fragments


This manuscript utilizes autobiographical storytelling to merge the author's educational experiences of living in suburbia with a handful of “curriculum fragments” (Poetter, 2017) into a coherent counternarrative to challenge the traditional Whiteness of the suburbs. The counternarrative interweaves other people's experiences as well as observations using Pinar's "Method of Currere" (1975) to create an imagined future for the full integration of suburbia.


Ayscue, J., Frankenberg, E., & Siegel-Hawley, G. (2017). The complementary benefits of racial and socioeconomic diversity in schools. National Coalition on School Diversity Research Brief, 10, pp. 1-8.

Bonilla-Silva, E. (2017). Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield.

Boustan, L. P. (2010). Was postwar suburbanization “white flight”? Evidence from the black migration. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125(1), pp. 417-443.

Fixsen, D. L., Blase, K. A., Duda, M., Naoom, S. F., & Van Dyke, M. (2010). Sustainability of evidence-based programs in education. Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools, 11(1), pp. 30-46.

Klaf, S., & Kwan, M. P. (2010). The neoliberal straitjacket and public education in the United States: Understanding contemporary education reform and its urban implications. Urban Geography, 31(2), pp. 194-210.

Lee, B. A., Iceland, J., & Farrell, C. R. (2014). Is ethnoracial residential integration on the rise? Evidence from metropolitan and micropolitan America since 1980, In J. Logan (Eds.), Diversity and disparities: America enters a new century (pp. 415–56), New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Lichter, D. T., Parisi, D., & Taquino, M. C. (2017). Together but apart: Do US whites live in racially diverse cities and neighborhoods?. Population and Development Review, 43(2), pp. 229-255.

Massey, D. S., & Denton, N. A. (1989). Hypersegregation in US metropolitan areas: Black and Hispanic segregation along five dimensions. Demography, 26(3), pp. 373-391.

Pinar, W. F. (1975). The method of currere. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Washington, DC.

Poetter, T. S. (2017). Curriculum fragments: Theorizing while practicing an educational life and building a currere oriented representation of an educational “I.” Currere Exchange Journal, 1(2), pp. 1-11.

Poetter, T. S. (2013). Stemming the tide: Calvin's high-water mark and teacher resistance. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 49(3), pp. 100-104.

Ravitch, D. (2016). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books.

Steele, C., & Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), pp. 797-811.

Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62(4), pp. 271-286.

Tolnay, S. E. (2003). The African American “great migration” and beyond. Annual Review of Sociology, 29(1), pp. 209-232.

Vanneman, A., Hamilton, L., Anderson, J. B., & Rahman, T. (2009). Achievement gaps: How Black and White students in public schools perform in mathematics and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Statistical Analysis Report. NCES 2009-455. National Center for Education Statistics.