How Real Estate Segregated America
Real-estate interests have long wielded an outsized influence over national housing policy—to the detriment of African Americans.
An article by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
In a year of many anniversaries, two in particular stand out with respect to the housing crisis facing the United States today. The first is the passage of Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, more commonly known as the Fair Housing Act. In some ways, the legislation bitterly acknowledged the role of housing discrimination in keeping African Americans in a subordinate social position. Excluding Black people from white neighborhoods, while simultaneously disinvesting in Black communities, has kept them out of the best-funded schools and highest-paying jobs. Housing discrimination was a linchpin of Black inequality in American society, and the Fair Housing Act held out the promise of undoing it by banning racial discrimination in the renting, financing, and selling of housing.
For the full article in Dissent Magazine, click here.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is the author of the forthcoming Race for Profit: Black Homeownership and the End of the Urban Crisis (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). Taylor is also author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Haymarket Books, 2016). She is Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. Taylor's research on the Fair Housing Act was a center of the Spring 2018 "Race and Housing 50 Years Later" event sponsored by the Princeton Mellon Initiative and Humanities Council as part of the 1968 Cities on the Edge series.