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Title: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Author: Richard Rothstein
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In this groundbreaking historical past of the trendy American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a number one authority on housing coverage, explodes the parable that America’s cities got here to be racially divided via de facto segregation—that’s, via particular person prejudices, revenue variations, or the actions of non-public establishments like banks and actual property companies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the legal guidelines and coverage selections handed by native, state, and federal governments—that really promoted the discriminatory patterns that proceed to this present day. Through extraordinary revelations and intensive analysis that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as “sensible” (The Atlantic), Rothstein involves chronicle nothing lower than an untold story that begins within the 1920s, exhibiting how this course of of de jure segregation started with express racial zoning, as hundreds of thousands of African Americans moved in an important historic migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her traditional The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed city planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we all know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this historical past, exhibiting how authorities insurance policies led to the creation of formally segregated public housing and the demolition of beforehand built-in neighborhoods. While city areas quickly deteriorated, the nice American suburbanization of the put up–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the situation that no properties be bought to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein reveals how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these requirements by supporting violent resistance to black households in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination however did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had develop into deeply embedded. Yet latest outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis present us exactly how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American panorama won’t ever look the identical to readers of this necessary e-book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination reveals that solely by relearning this historical past can we lastly pave the best way for the nation to treatment its unconstitutional previous.
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