West Mount Airy wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for a couple of real estate agents in that community who said, "We're not gonna allow fearmongering and panic to take root here." It took conscious effort - and some persuasion of their fellow white residents (and would-be homebuyers) - to achieve that. That's the reason we talk about places like Mt. Airy and Oak Park, the western suburb of Chicago that outlawed For Sale signs and had a committee of real estate agents that actively - yes - steered buyers of one race onto blocks where the other was in the majority. The usual course of events produced neighborhoods like the one I grew up in, Oak Park on Kansas City's east side, or the newer portion of East Mount Airy known as Cedarbrook. Middle-class blacks - very respectable people, folks - moved to these neighborhoods in search not only of better - they were looking to live in a mixed-race community. They got that for a brief golden moment before they wound up living just among themselves again. But the neighborhoods held. Standards of maintenance and upkeep were the same. If the schools weren't, it wasn't for lack of interest among the parents. The difference is one of class - and that's a distinction I'm afraid too many, not all of them white, fail to note or observe. Either of you been through Cedarbrook much? Keep an eye out for a long article on Next City next week.