The color of law: a forgotten history of how our government segregated America

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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 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.
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9781631492853
9781631492860
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Grouped Work ID 0c999cca-168c-57a6-22ca-523e7d7b9676
Grouping Title color of law a forgotten history of how our government segregated america
Grouping Author rothstein richard
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-01-23 20:19:23PM
Last Indexed 2019-01-23 20:21:39PM

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display_description

A Publishers Weekly Top 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).

Widely heralded as a "masterful" (Washington Post) and "essential" (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law offers "the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation" (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, "virtually indispensable" study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.
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subject_facet African Americans -- Segregation -- History -- 20th century, Discrimination in housing -- Government policy -- United States -- History -- 20th century, Segregation -- United States -- History -- 20th century, United States -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century
title_display The color of law : a forgotten history of how our government segregated America
title_full The Color of Law A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, The color of law : a forgotten history of how our government segregated America / Richard Rothstein
title_short The color of law :
title_sub a forgotten history of how our government segregated America
topic_facet African Americans, Discrimination in housing, Government policy, History, Law, Nonfiction, Race relations, Segregation, Sociology