The Cosmopolitan Canopy, By Elijah Anderson Essay

1393 Words Dec 8th, 2016 6 Pages
In The Cosmopolitan Canopy, the author, Elijah Anderson, discusses and accurately describes public areas in the city of Philadelphia, where diverse groups of people can mingle and relax in peace, despite their differences. Anderson refers to these public spaces as “cosmopolitan canopies” (xiv). According to the author, who has lived and worked in different areas of Philadelphia for over 30 years, the city is more racially, ethnically, and socially diverse than ever and is full of “canopies,” which allows strangers to fearlessly interact with each other (Anderson xv). The author provides a vivid description of the city as it would be seen on a walking tour, emphasizing the cosmopolitan canopies, as well as areas that could be classified as de facto segregation and usually experience more racial tension from visiting outsiders and other ethnic and social groups. Anderson also discusses instances of racial discrimination that affect, and perhaps prevent, the creation of canopies in certain neighborhoods and public spaces. Incorporating Anderson’s theory, I personally observed a public space at Temple University’s Bell Tower to determine if the public space could be considered a cosmopolitan canopy.
One of the main observations made by Anderson in this text was how pedestrians tend to avoid contact with strangers and force themselves to fake indifference to the diverse crowd of people around them, saying “skin color becomes a social border” (Anderson 2). On a busy city…

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