That was a different world. I was a white Public Health Nurse in a totally black district of Baltimore city in 1969 and ‘70. My mentor and supervisor and co-workers were mostly black, and were very well qualified nurses. I was totally safe, and so was my beautiful LeMans convertible, as I made my home visits.
My clients were poor and lower middle class - men had jobs then. Johnson’s money to the cities broke up too many intact families and destroyed incentives to work and study. I could go on, but you just asked about safety. Heroin was the street drug, and addicts would rob their mother if they were desperate, but there was not the same racial animosity as has continued for too many “victims” today.
Even when things began to go south in the late 60s, there were two people whose safety was guaranteed: the District Health Nurse and the weekly life insurance collection man.
Now the young thugs have no respect for anyone (and they're not buying life insurance for their families), so nobody is safe.
I did social work in the Baltimore slums 1963-1965. It was safe [and extremely friendly people] as you can be except at night - you should go in a group.
The public schools I visited appeared to be still segregated then and the quality of the students` education was very high with high morale as they all wore school uniforms dress code.
But NY City was totally different- If I rode the subway I always had my 250 pound cousin accompany me. We both carried knives.
Oakland in 1965 was safer than today. You could walk unscathed from Berkeley all the way to Jack London Square at midnight and nobody bothered you -
But East Oakland to 98th Ave. was very dangerous coz of drug activity.