The subject of this thesis is construction of community analyzed through activism and engagement in a low-income, historically African-American community called Eagle. Eagle community is located in an affluent suburban city called Falls City in a state bordering Washington D.C.
The main argument will be that construction of community in Eagle occurs on three levels. The first level is Eagle’s history. Eagle has a unique history. The community is an original African-American settlement in a white affluent suburban town. The neighborhood’s origin dates back to the late 19th century. The history of the neighborhood has continued to be marked by the collaborative effort between Eagle and white Falls City residents who fought together in the Civil Rights era of the 1960s to rebuild the then deteriorating neighborhood.
The second level of community is Eagle as a physical place. The buildings of Eagle seem to represent Eagle as a community, and as a concrete marker of Eagle’s unique history. The physical room will be viewed as constructive for residents and non-residents’ engagement in Eagle.
The third level of community is located in various types of activism and engagement. These efforts are political and non-political and consist of both Eagle residents and Falls City residents. The one common ground between the different efforts seems to be an end goal of neighborhood preservation of Eagle. Individual efforts, as well as group efforts will be described and analyzed. Special attention will be given to the historical and contemporary domination of female leaders in Eagle as women seemed to initiate and carry out neighborhood engagements. Current efforts and collaborative efforts between Eagle residents and Falls City residents are influenced by the history and the place of Eagle, as well as the efforts themselves being constructive for Eagle as a neighborhood.