In this chapter, the author provides a political, economic, and cultural framework for understanding the emergence and persistence of concentrated urban poverty. He aims to pay particular attention to poor inner-city black neighborhoods, which have the highest levels of concentrated poverty. Through the second half of the 1990s and in to the early years of the 21st century, public attention to the plight of poor black Americans seemed to wane. Many neighborhoods with a considerable number of European immigrants were redlined; virtually all black neighborhoods were excluded. Federal public housing policy contributed to the gradual growth of segregated black ghettos as well. The author concludes by suggesting a new agenda for America's ghetto poor. The vast majority of social scientists agree that as a national cultural frame, racism, in its various forms, has had harmful effects on African Americans as a group. Indeed, considerable research has been devoted to the effects of racism in American society.