Date: Mon, 2 Oct 1995 14:11:44 -0400

From: "J. Russell King" JRKing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: Re: downtown/inner city

When did "downtown" become "inner-city"?

As a child, I used to go downtown to the heart of Los Angeles. Now

it the inner-city.

Great question. I noticed a couple of weeks ago in part of the flood of

articles about General Colin Powell a statement to the effect that "Powell

would be the first President who grew up in the inner city." The area around

Gramercy Park where Theodore Roosevelt was born and raised is about as urban

and inner as any part of a city could be, if the definition is only

geographical. I suspect that it isn't "downtown" that's become "inner city,"

it's "slums" or "black neighborhoods" that have become "inner city." The

connotation is almost invariably racial and economic, isn't it?