Date: Mon, 2 Oct 1995 14:11:44 -0400 From: "J. Russell King" 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?