Monday, August 21, 2017

Mapping Racial Covenants

In the Twentieth Century redlining was used in the United States to restrict financing to black house buyers and property owners. This process was well documented at the time and we can see which neighborhoods were most affected simply by referring to the historical redlining maps, which were created by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation.

However redlining was not the only way that African Americans were discriminated against in the real estate market during the Twentieth Century. Racially restrictive covenants were also used by white home owners in order to ensure that their homes could not be sold to African Americans or other specified racial groups. Most of these covenants included “run with the land” clauses which also legally enforced the covenant on future owners of the property. Thus ensuring that houses could never be bought by African Americans

Mapping Prejudice has created an animated map which shows the spread of covenants over time in Minneapolis. The map shows the growth of the number of buildings in the city placed under racial covenants from 1911 to 1954. As the animation plays you can see how whole neighborhoods are essentially placed under segregation as more and more buildings are given racial covenants.

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