This is the third post in a series that started because of a white person’s question on Facebook: What have whites ever done to blacks — after slavery — to keep them from succeeding? Don’t they have exactly the same opportunities as we?
Read the introduction to the series here.
(For this post I rely heavily on Ned and Constance Sublette’s eye-opeing book: The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry.)
In America, one of the main ways to build assets is through home ownership. In the previous post I already laid out the many ways government on every level, together with the housing industry, kept African Americans segregated from whites, how they kept them out of middle-class neighborhoods and how they refused to give them mortgages. A century of segregated neighborhoods, racially restrictive covenants and redlining have left African Americans far behind where home ownership is concerned.
If we’re going to talk about real estate, though, to really understand the scope of the injustice done to African Americans, we need to go back to the very beginning of white land use in America. Continue reading