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The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated… (2017)

av Richard Rothstein

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1,1952712,260 (4.39)35
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 it 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 Milwaukee 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," comments Sherrilyn A. Ifill. Indeed, Rothstein's invaluable examination demonstrates that only by relearning American urban history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past. -- Inside jacket flaps.… (mer)
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This is a must read for understanding how our cities and towns became racially segregated, and how this was explicit government policy. Many of us have some idea of how it happened--steering, redlining. Rothstein carefully puts the pieces together so that we see how different policies--some explicitly racial, some apparently neutral but with hidden intent--combined to not only create segregated neighborhoods, but to segregate existing ones. For example, in order to keep black families out, towns would only permit the building of single family homes. Since black families could not get a mortgage--the FHA guidelines made it impossible--such an ordinance guaranteed that a neighborhood would remain white only. These actions set up housing patterns that persist to this day. Just as importantly, this was just as rampant in the North and West as it was in the South. Today, some of the most segregated suburbs in the country are just outside of NYC.

Rothstein also goes into some possible solutions, though I think the history is the most important part of the book. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
The Color of Law details the history of segregation both in law and in fact. In addition, he discusses what would need to be done to rectify certain parts of this injustice. ( )
  aevaughn | Jun 1, 2021 |
Rothstein describes how the American government systemically imposed residential segregation with a variety of covert tactics. Racial zoning, and subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs, tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation, and much more, The Color of Law is a must read for anyone wanting to understand how racism is woven into our systems.

Review from: The Write of Your Life. A List of Books About Racism.
  stlukeschurch | Mar 8, 2021 |
We, white people, have so much to atone for! Where to begin? Let's wipe these laws out and teach our children differently! ( )
  hemlokgang | Jan 27, 2021 |
Eye opening and disheartening. ( )
  Grace.Van.Moer | Jan 4, 2021 |
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But since American schools don’t teach the true history of systemic racial segregation, Rothstein asks, “Is it any wonder [students] come to believe that African-Americans are only segregated because they don’t want to marry or because they prefer to live only among themselves?” Only when Americans learn a common—and accurate—history of our nation’s racial divisions, he contends, will we then be able to consider steps to fulfill our legal and moral obligations. For the rest of us, still trying to work past 40 years of misinformation, there might not be a better place to start than Rothstein’s book.
tillagd av elenchus | ändraSlate.com, Rachel M. Cohen (May 7, 2017)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (2 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Rothstein, RichardFörfattareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Attardo, StevenOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Grupper, AdamBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Koven, BrookeFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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When from 2014 t0 2016, riots in places like Ferguson, Baltimore, Milwaukee, or Charlotte captured our attention, most of us thought we knew how these segregated neighborhoods with their crime, violence, anger, and poverty came to be. (Preface)
We think of the San Francisco Bay area as one of the nation's more liberal and inclusive regions.
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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 it 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 Milwaukee 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," comments Sherrilyn A. Ifill. Indeed, Rothstein's invaluable examination demonstrates that only by relearning American urban history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past. -- Inside jacket flaps.

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