State police carrying riot sticks push back residents, Aug. 20, 1957 in Levittown, Pa., near the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Myers, the first black family to move into this planned community of previously all-white residents. One man was arrested in what police said was a rock throwing in which a State trooper was struck. (AP Photo/Sam Myers)
Sam Myers State police carrying riot sticks push back residents, Aug. 20, 1957 in Levittown, Pa., near the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Myers, the first black family to move into this planned community of previously all-white residents. One man was arrested in what police said was a rock throwing in which a State trooper was struck. (AP Photo/Sam Myers)

Levittown, Pa., is no less socioeconomically or racially diverse than it was in the 1950s, CityLab reports, exploring the rise and petering out of the archetypical postwar suburb. “It is almost too easy to draw parallels between the story of Levittown and the arc of the postwar middle class. Both have fallen from their heyday, when the economy was surpassingly kind regardless of education (if mostly to white men),” journalist Jake Blumgart explains. With a history marred, if yet defined, by racial exclusion and economic homogeneity, the town still fails to mirror the diversity of surrounding towns and cities north of Philadelphia. Whether Levittown will be able to do that remains uncertain but is, ultimately, key to its longevity.

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