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This guide, created by Melanie Goulish and Andy Petersen, with the help of the Diversity Advisory Committee at MSU Libraries, offers an introduction to books and media related to the history of fair housing in the United States, and the effects of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 in particular. This list reflects offerings selected for the "One Book, One Community" event with Dr. Robert L. Green at the Wharton Center on September 24, 2021, but may be updated and expanded at any time.
Where possible, links to East Lansing Public Library catalog listings are available at the bottom of each item description.
At the Crossroads of Fear and Freedom by
Publication Date: 2015-11-01
Robert L. Green, a friend and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., served as education director for King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference during a crucial period in Civil Rights history, and--as a consultant for many of the nation's largest school districts--he continues to fight for social justice and educational equity today. This memoir relates previously untold stories about major Civil Rights campaigns that helped put an end to voting rights violations and Jim Crow education; explains how Green has helped urban school districts improve academic achievement levels; and explains why this history should inform our choices as we attempt to reform and improve American education. Green's quest began when he helped the Kennedy Administration resolve a catastrophic education-related impasse and has continued through his service as one of the participants at an Obama administration summit on a current academic crisis. It is commonly said that education is the new Civil Rights battlefield. Green's memoir, At the Crossroads of Fear and Freedom: The Fight for Social and Educational Justice, helps us understand that educational equity has always been a central objective of the Civil Rights movement.
ELPL link: https://elpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S124C1449701
The Color of Law by
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
One of Publishers Weekly's 10 Best Books of 2017 Longlisted for the National Book Award This "powerful and disturbing history" exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review). In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation--that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation--the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments--that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post-World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. "The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book" (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein's invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.
ELPL link: https://elpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S124C1330550
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE * NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE * One of the most acclaimed books of our time, this modern classic "has set a new standard for reporting on poverty" (Barbara Ehrenreich, The New York Times Book Review). In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as "wrenching and revelatory" (The Nation), "vivid and unsettling" (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America's most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY President Barack Obama * The New York Times Book Review * The Boston Globe * The Washington Post * NPR * Entertainment Weekly * The New Yorker * Bloomberg * Esquire * BuzzFeed * Fortune * San Francisco Chronicle * Milwaukee Journal Sentinel * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Politico * The Week * Chicago Public Library * BookPage * Kirkus Reviews * Library Journal * Publishers Weekly * Booklist * Shelf Awareness WINNER OF: The National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction * The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction * The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction * The Hillman Prize for Book Journalism * The PEN/New England Award * The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE AND THE KIRKUS PRIZE "Evicted stands among the very best of the social justice books."--Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth "Gripping and moving--tragic, too."--Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones "Evicted is that rare work that has something genuinely new to say about poverty."--San Francisco Chronicle
Family Properties by
Publication Date: 2009-03-17
Part family story and part urban history, a landmark investigation of segregation and urban decay in Chicago-and cities across the nation The "promised land" for thousands of Southern blacks, postwar Chicago quickly became the most segregated city in the North, the site of the nation's worst ghettos and the target of Martin Luther King Jr.'s first campaign beyond the South. In this powerful book, Beryl Satter identifies the true causes of the city's black slums and the ruin of urban neighborhoods throughout the country: not, as some have argued, black pathology, the culture of poverty, or white flight, but a widespread and institutionalized system of legal and financial exploitation.In Satter's riveting account of a city in crisis, unscrupulous lawyers, slumlords, and speculators are pitched against religious reformers, community organizers, and an impassioned attorney who launched a crusade against the profiteers-the author's father, Mark J. Satter. At the heart of the struggle stand the black migrants who, having left the South with its legacy of sharecropping, suddenly find themselves caught in a new kind of debt peonage. Satter shows the interlocking forces at work in their oppression: the discriminatory practices of the banking industry; the federal policies that created the country's shameful "dual housing market"; the economic anxieties that fueled white violence; and the tempting profits to be made by preying on the city's most vulnerable population.A monumental work of history, this tale of racism and real estate, politics and finance, will forever change our understanding of the forces that transformed urban America.
Fragile Rights Within Cities by
Publication Date: 2006-12-20
This book offers a rich, multi-disciplinary assessment of the complex interface of housing, fairness, and government programs aimed at enforcing one of this nation's hallmark civil rights laws - the right to fair and open housing. The core questions for this book are how fair are this country's urban housing markets and how effective has the government been at what it is charged to do in ensuring open and diverse housing options for this country's minority groups?
Furthering Fair Housing by
Publication Date: 2021-03-19
The 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule was the most significant federal effort to increase equality of access to place-based resources and opportunities, such as high-performing schools or access to jobs, since the 1968 Fair Housing Act. However, in an effort to appeal to suburban voters, the Trump administration repealed the rule in 2020, leaving its future in doubt.Furthering Fair Housing analyzes multiple dimensions of this rule, identifying failures of past efforts to increase housing choice, exploring how the AFFH Rule was crafted, measuring the initial effects of the rule before its rescission, and examining its interaction with other contemporary housing issues, such as affordability, gentrification, anti-displacement, and zoning policies.The editors and contributors to this volume--a mix of civil rights advocates, policymakers, and public officials--provide critical perspectives and identify promising new directions for future policies and practices. Placing the history of fair housing in the context of the centuries-long struggle for racial equity, Furthering Fair Housing shows how this policy can be revived and enhanced to advance racial equity in America's neighborhoods.
Housing Segregation in Suburban America since 1960 by
Publication Date: 2005-01-24
This book examines national fair housing policy from 1960 through 2000 in the context of the American presidency and the country's segregated suburban housing market. It argues that a principal reason for suburban housing segregation lies in Richard Nixon's 1971 fair housing policy, which directed Federal agencies not to place pressure on suburbs to accept low-income housing. After exploring the role played by Lyndon Johnson in the initiation and passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Nixon's politics of suburban segregation is contrasted to the politics of suburban integration espoused by his HUD secretary, George Romney. Nixon's fair housing legacy is then traced through each presidential administration from Gerald Ford to Bill Clinton and detected in the decisions of Nixon's Federal Court appointees.
The Lines Between Us by
Publication Date: 2019-05-21
Deeply reported and deftly told, The Lines Between Us, a riveting story from DuPont Award - winning journalist Lawrence Lanahan, compels reflection on America's entrenched inequality - and on where the rubber meets the road not in the abstract, but in our own backyards. The criss-crossing stories of Mark, a white devout Christian who sells his suburban home to move to Baltimore's inner city, and Nicole, a black mother determined to leave West Baltimore for the suburbs, chronicle how the region became so deeply segregated and why these fault lines persist today.
ELPL link: https://elpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S124C1411523
Moving Toward Integration by
Publication Date: 2018-05-07
Reducing residential segregation is the best way to reduce racial inequality in the United States. African American employment rates, earnings, test scores, even longevity all improve sharply as residential integration increases. Yet far too many participants in our policy and political conversations have come to believe that the battle to integrate America's cities cannot be won. Richard Sander, Yana Kucheva, and Jonathan Zasloff write that the pessimism surrounding desegregation in housing arises from an inadequate understanding of how segregation has evolved and how policy interventions have already set many metropolitan areas on the path to integration. Scholars have debated for decades whether America's fair housing laws are effective. Moving toward Integration provides the most definitive account to date of how those laws were shaped and implemented and why they had a much larger impact in some parts of the country than others. It uses fresh evidence and better analytic tools to show when factors like exclusionary zoning and income differences between blacks and whites pose substantial obstacles to broad integration, and when they do not. Through its interdisciplinary approach and use of rich new data sources, Moving toward Integration offers the first comprehensive analysis of American housing segregation. It explains why racial segregation has been resilient even in an increasingly diverse and tolerant society, and it demonstrates how public policy can align with demographic trends to achieve broad housing integration within a generation.
Not in My Neighborhood by
Publication Date: 2010-03-16
Eugenics, racial thinking, and white supremacist attitudes influenced even the federal government's actions toward housing in the 20th century, dooming American cities to ghettoization. The Federal Housing Administration continued discriminatory housing policies even into the 1960s, long after civil rights legislation. This all-American tale is told through the prism of Baltimore, from its early suburbanization in the 1880s to the consequences of white flight after World War II, and into the first decade of the twenty-first century. The events are real, and so are the heroes and villains. Mr. Pietila's narrative centers on the human side of residential real estate practices, whose discriminatory tools were the same everywhere: restrictive covenants, redlining, blockbusting, predatory lending.
Perspectives on Fair Housing by
Publication Date: 2020-11-20
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibited discrimination in the sale, rent, and financing of housing based on race, religion, and national origin. However, manifold historical and contemporary forces, driven by both governmental and private actors, have segregated these protected classes by denying them access to homeownership or housing options in high-performing neighborhoods. Perspectives on Fair Housing argues that meaningful government intervention continues to be required in order to achieve a housing market in which a person's background does not arbitrarily restrict access. The essays in this volume address how residential segregation did not emerge naturally from minority preference but rather how it was forced through legal, economic, social, and even violent measures. Contributors examine racial land use and zoning practices in the early 1900s in cities like Atlanta, Richmond, and Baltimore; the exclusionary effects of single-family zoning and its entanglement with racially motivated barriers to obtaining credit; and the continuing impact of mid-century "redlining" policies and practices on public and private investment levels in neighborhoods across American cities today. Perspectives on Fair Housing demonstrates that discrimination in the housing market results in unequal minority households that, in aggregate, diminish economic prosperity across the country. Amended several times to expand the protected classes to include gender, families with children, and people with disabilities, the FHA's power relies entirely on its consistent enforcement and on programs that further its goals. Perspectives on Fair Housing provides historical, sociological, economic, and legal perspectives on the critical and continuing problem of housing discrimination and offers a review of the tools that, if appropriately supported, can promote racial and economic equity in America. Contributors: Francesca Russello Ammon, Raphael Bostic, Devin Michelle Bunten, Camille Zubrinsky Charles, Nestor M. Davidson, Amy Hillier, Marc H. Morial, Eduardo M. Peñalver, Wendell E. Pritchett, Rand Quinn, Vincent J. Reina, Akira Drake Rodriguez, Justin P. Steil, Susan M. Wachter.
Race and Real Estate by
Publication Date: 2015-10-28
Race and Real Estate brings together new work by architects, sociologists, legal scholars, and literary critics that qualifies and complicates traditional narratives of race, property, and citizenship in the United States. Rather than simply rehearsing the standard account of how blacks were historically excluded from homeownership, the authors of these essays explore how the raced history of property affects understandings of home and citizenship. While the narrative of race and real estate in America has usually been relayed in terms of institutional subjugation, dispossession, and forced segregation, the essays collected in this volume acknowledge the validity of these histories while presenting new perspectives on this story.
Race for Profit by
Publication Date: 2019-10-21
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST, 2020 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY By the late 1960s and early 1970s, reeling from a wave of urban uprisings, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Reasoning that the turbulence could be calmed by turning Black city-dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, and set about establishing policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black homebuyers equally. The disaster that ensued revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transmuted into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion. Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlining's end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers - as if unprofitability, rather than racism, was the cause of housing segregation. Bankers, investors, and real estate agents took advantage of the perverse incentives, targeting the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits. As a result, by the end of the 1970s, the nation's first programs to encourage Black homeownership ended with tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country. The push to uplift Black homeownership had descended into a goldmine for realtors and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made cudgel for the champions of deregulation to wield against government intervention of any kind. Narrating the story of a sea-change in housing policy and its dire impact on African Americans, Race for Profit reveals how the urban core was transformed into a new frontier of cynical extraction.
Segregation by Design by
Publication Date: 2018-11-15
Segregation by Design draws on more than 100 years of quantitative and qualitative data from thousands of American cities to explore how local governments generate race and class segregation. Starting in the early twentieth century, cities have used their power of land use control to determine the location and availability of housing, amenities (such as parks), and negative land uses (such as garbage dumps). The result has been segregation - first within cities and more recently between them. Documenting changing patterns of segregation and their political mechanisms, Trounstine argues that city governments have pursued these policies to enhance the wealth and resources of white property owners at the expense of people of color and the poor. Contrary to leading theories of urban politics, local democracy has not functioned to represent all residents. The result is unequal access to fundamental local services - from schools, to safe neighborhoods, to clean water.
Some of My Best Friends Are Black by
Publication Date: 2012-07-05
An incisive and candid look at how America got lost on the way to Dr. King's Promised Land Almost fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, equality is the law of the land, but actual integration is still hard to find. Mammoth battles over forced busing, unfair housing practices, and affirmative action have hardly helped. The bleak fact is that black people and white people in the United States don't spend much time together--at work, school, church, or anywhere. Tanner Colby, himself a child of a white-flight Southern suburb, set out to discover why. Some of My Best Friends Are Black chronicles America's troubling relationship with race through four interrelated stories: the transformation of a once-racist Birmingham school system; a Kansas City neighborhood's fight against housing discrimination; the curious racial divide of the Madison Avenue ad world; and a Louisiana Catholic parish's forty-year effort to build an integrated church. Writing with a reporter's nose and a stylist's flair, Colby uncovers the deep emotional fault lines set trembling by race and takes an unflinching look at an America still struggling to reach the mountaintop.
Stamped from the Beginning by
Publication Date: 2016-04-12
The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society. Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America -- it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities. In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.
Sundown Towns by
Publication Date: 2005-09-29
A history of northern racial exclusion demonstrates the pervasiveness of racism throughout the entire United States, analyzing how sundown towns in northern states participated in racially oppressive practices and victimized black citizens with frequently violent attacks well into the late twentieth century. 30,000 first printing.
ELPL link: https://elpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S124C1084571
Surrogate Suburbs by
Publication Date: 2017-03-20
The story of white flight and the neglect of black urban neighborhoods has been well told by urban historians in recent decades. Yet much of this scholarship has downplayed black agency and tended to portray African Americans as victims of structural forces beyond their control. In this history of Cleveland's black middle class, Todd Michney uncovers the creative ways that members of this nascent community established footholds in areas outside the overcrowded, inner-city neighborhoods to which most African Americans were consigned. In asserting their right to these outer-city spaces, African Americans appealed to city officials, allied with politically progressive whites (notably Jewish activists), and relied upon both black and white developers and real estate agents to expand these "surrogate suburbs" and maintain their livability until the bona fide suburbs became more accessible. By tracking the trajectories of those who, in spite of racism, were able to succeed, Michney offers a valuable counterweight to histories that have focused on racial conflict and black poverty and tells the neglected story of the black middle class in America's cities prior to the 1960s.
Unfair Housing by
Publication Date: 2003-09-22
It is difficult to ignore the fact that, even as the United States becomes much more racially and ethnically diverse, our neighborhoods remain largely segregated. The 1968 Fair Housing Act and 1977 Community Reinvestment Act promised to end discrimination, yet for millions of Americans housing options remain far removed from the American Dream. Why do most neighborhoods in American cities continue to be racially divided? The problem, suggests Mara Sidney, lies with the policies themselves. She contends that to understand why discrimination persists, we need to understand the political challenges faced by advocacy groups who implement them. In Unfair Housing she offers a new explanation for the persistent color lines in our cities by showing how weak national policy has silenced and splintered grassroots activists. Sidney explains how political compromise among national lawmakers with divergent interests resulted in housing legislation that influenced how community activists defined discrimination, what actions they took, and which political relationships they cultivated. As a result, local governments became less likely to include housing discrimination on their agendas, existing laws went unenforced, and racial segregation continued. A former undercover investigator for a fair housing advocacy group, Sidney takes readers into the neighborhoods of Minneapolis and Denver to show how federal housing policy actually works. She examines how these laws played out in these cities and reveals how they eroded activists' capability to force more sweeping reform in housing policy. Sidney also shows how activist groups can cultivate community resources to overcome these difficulties, looking across levels of government to analyze how national policies interact with local politics. In the first book to apply policy design theories of Anne Schneider and Helen Ingram to an empirical case, Sidney illuminates overlooked impacts of fair housing and community reinvestment policies and extends their theories to the study of local politics and nonprofit organizations. Sidney argues forcefully that understanding the link between national policy and local groups sheds light on our failure to reduce discrimination and segregation. As battles over fair housing continue, her book helps us understand the shape of the battlefield and the prospects for victory.
Videos and Additional Media
Brick by brick: a civil rights story
"Uses the bitter struggle over equal housing rights in Yonkers, New York during the 1980s to show the 'massive resistance' the Civil Rights movement confronted when it moved North"
Sundown towns : a hidden dimension of American racism / C-SPAN
James Loewen talked about his book "Sundown towns : a hidden dimension of American racism", published by New Press. The book chronicled the history of towns and neighborhood that were closed to African-Americans. The author pointed out that most of these towns outside of the traditional South in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Professor Loewen explained that "Sundown Towns" used policemen, fire, bricks, and signs to force blacks out of the suburbs and into the ghettos. He asserted that although the tactics to exclude blacks may not be as blatant, these towns are still very much in existence. Following his presentation, Professor Loewen responded to questions and comments from members of the audience.