Directed by Andrea Torrice • Documentary • 2009 • 26 minutes
America's "first" suburbs, those suburban communities built next to America's urban centers, were once the birthplace of the American Dream. Driven by a desire to escape the smokestacks of the central cities, and a housing shortage following World War II, thousands of suburban homes were rapidly constructed and middle class families flocked to fill them.
Sixty years later, many of these original suburbs are facing a crisis: a dwindling tax base, population and business loss, decaying infrastructure, increased racial tensions and white flight. Lacking policies to help reverse these trends, many towns are looking for strategies for revitalization.
The New Neighbors, narrated by Ruby Dee, tells the inspiring story of two ordinary people, one black and one white, who have successfully made racial integration the centerpiece of revitalizing Pennsauken, NJ.