10 episodes

Gentrification is changing cities across America, forcing people from neighborhoods they have long called home. Call them the displaced. Now those priced out of the Bay Area are looking for a better life in an unlikely place. American Suburb follows this migration to one California town along the Delta, 45 miles from San Francisco. But is this once sleepy suburb ready for them? KQED’s Devin Katayama and Sandhya Dirks explore that question, taking us into the ordinary spaces of suburban life to find extraordinary stories about race, poverty and belonging.

American Suburb KQED

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 132 Ratings

Gentrification is changing cities across America, forcing people from neighborhoods they have long called home. Call them the displaced. Now those priced out of the Bay Area are looking for a better life in an unlikely place. American Suburb follows this migration to one California town along the Delta, 45 miles from San Francisco. But is this once sleepy suburb ready for them? KQED’s Devin Katayama and Sandhya Dirks explore that question, taking us into the ordinary spaces of suburban life to find extraordinary stories about race, poverty and belonging.

    Chapter 0: Welcome to American Suburb

    Chapter 0: Welcome to American Suburb

    Gentrification is changing cities across America, forcing people from neighborhoods they have long called home. Call them the displaced. Now those priced out of the Bay Area are looking for a better life in an unlikely place. American Suburb follows this migration to one California town along the Delta, 45 miles from San Francisco. But is this once sleepy suburb ready for them?

    KQED’s Devin Katayama and Sandhya Dirks explore that question, taking us into the ordinary spaces of suburban life to find extraordinary stories about race, poverty and belonging.

    • 5 min
    Chapter 9: We Too Sing Antioch

    Chapter 9: We Too Sing Antioch

    A school counselor and local pastor arranges a middle school graduation celebration for African American students, but protests against the ceremony lead to racist graffiti on the pastor’s church door.

    Nowhere are the changing demographics of suburbs like Antioch clearer than in the city’s classrooms. But while the population of students is shifting, many of the educators still remain the same, and black students are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school. How do young people learn to claim Antioch? And how does the city embrace the new class in town?

    • 40 min
    Chapter 8: Rabbit Hole

    Chapter 8: Rabbit Hole

    It can be hard to get back on your feet when you’re starting from scratch — even when opportunity falls in your lap. We meet Kevin Kunze, who was living on the streets until Doug Stewart decided to do something unusual: He took Kevin home with him to live with the Stewart family. It’s a test for the family, but an even harder one for Kevin.

    • 21 min
    Chapter 7: The Field

    Chapter 7: The Field

    Antioch residents are finding it hard to ignore the increasing number of destitute people living on the streets. Last year, the number of people living unsheltered grew by 30 percent in the far eastern Contra Costa suburbs– the rest of the county saw declines. In this chapter Devin joins a group of drifters who’ve set up camp in an abandoned field on the edge of town. They’re honing their survival techniques and dodging authorities… trying to create their own version of suburban life.

    • 19 min
    Chapter 6: Reasonable Fear

    Chapter 6: Reasonable Fear

    More African Americans are now living in suburbs than anywhere else. And some of the country’s most recent controversial police shootings of unarmed black men took place in the suburbs outside St. Louis, St. Paul and Orlando.

    In suburban Antioch, police chief Allan Cantando is trying to bridge divides with the new community. To do that, he meets with a class of college students and asks them to role play as cops. Meanwhile, a budding group of community activists who say they’ve faced police brutality are learning how to organize. The challenges of policing and protesting in suburbia, in this episode of American Suburb.

    • 41 min
    Chapter 5: How to Change Your Mind

    Chapter 5: How to Change Your Mind

    Iris Archuleta is the daughter of a Black Panther who grew up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. She and her husband were part of the first wave of upper middle class African-Americans who moved to Antioch 20 years ago. This is the story of an unlikely alliance between Iris and the Antioch police. Both reject the single narrative here of “poor blacks” and the “inner city” moving out to Antioch. For them, Antioch is actually doing things right, if only their work wasn’t getting lost in a larger negative narrative about the town.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
132 Ratings

132 Ratings

DC to SF ,

Relevant and timely

A friend recommended this after I shared ‘Good White Parents’. Solid reporting about how a community in the Bay Area is changing rapidly beyond the cities we often think of.

Dval43 ,

Very informative and interesting!

Very well done reporting and story-telling. Well balanced and well told. Thank you!

Ajrennels81 ,

Great reporting and story telling

Wonderful podcast. They cover all points of view. Captivating story telling.

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