The Neighborhoods We Will Not ShareRoundup
tags: books, legal history, segregation, Race
Richard Rothstein is a distinguished fellow at the Economic Policy Institute and the author of “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.”
In the mid-20th century, federal, state and local governments pursued explicit racial policies to create, enforce and sustain residential segregation. The policies were so powerful that, as a result, even today blacks and whites rarely live in the same communities and have little interracial contact or friendships outside the workplace.
This was not a peculiar Southern obsession, but consistent nationwide. In New York, for example, the State legislature amended its insurance code in 1938 to permit the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company to build large housing projects “for white people only” — first Parkchester in the Bronx and then Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan. New York City granted substantial tax concessions for Stuyvesant Town, even after MetLife’s chairman testified that the project would exclude black families because “Negroes and whites don’t mix.” The insurance company then built a separate Riverton project for African-Americans in Harlem.
A few years later, when William Levitt proposed 17,000 homes in Nassau County for returning war veterans, the federal government insured his bank loans on the explicit condition that African-Americans be barred. The government even required that the deed to Levittown homes prohibit resale or rental to African-Americans. Although no longer legally enforceable, the language persists in Levittown deeds to this day.
State-licensed real estate agents subscribed to a code of ethics that prohibited sales to black families in white neighborhoods. Nationwide, regulators closed their eyes to real estate boards that prohibited agents from using multiple-listing services if they dared violate this code.
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Vows To Veto Defense Bill If It Removes Confederate Names From Military Bases
- Fourth of July: Beer’s Patriotic Connection to the Founding Fathers
- Calls for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ to be Replaced With a New US National Anthem
- As Young People Drive Infection Spikes, College Faculty Members Fight For The Right To Teach Remotely
- A Push to Make Black History Classes a College Graduation Requirement in FL is Mostly Talk but no Action
- Do American Indians celebrate the 4th of July?
- ‘A Conflicted Cultural Force’: What It’s Like to Be Black in Publishing
- Did Rutgers Find The Perfect President For 2020? Meet Jonathan Holloway, Black Historian.
- In Search of King David’s Lost Empire
- Boston To Remove Statue Depicting Abraham Lincoln With Freed Black Man At His Feet