The Not-So Hidden Truths About the Segregation of America’s Housing

The Not-So Hidden Truths About the Segregation of America’s Housing, Keli A. Tianga, ShelterForce, May 22, 2018, available here

There are sometimes audible gasps in a room as Richard Rothstein talks about his book, The Color of Law, and the United States government’s work to create, encourage, and enforce racial segregation in housing in the 20th century. This was the case just a few short days after our interview when he spoke at Monarch Housing’s Color of Law Forum at Seton Hall Law School. He discussed American public housing as being primarily being built for whites, but in cases when it was not, buildings within a development were segregated (a noted example being St. Louis’ Pruitt-Igoe housing development—the Pruitt apartments were for Black residents, the Igoe for white residents). And so, when we examine what appear to be centuries-old, deep divides between people today, it is enlightening to learn that federally mandated housing segregation often segregated communities by race that had previously been integrated. We were pleased to speak with Rothstein about his years of work uncovering many of these truths about our not-so distant past, all of which are hidden in plain sight.

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