Written By:  Barry P. Foley

Copyright © 27 Oct 2022

Redlining was a large part of the puzzle, endorsed by the federal government to specifically prevent any progress of the African American community.  As early as 1934 when the first National Housing Act was signed and Federal Housing Administration was established.

I’ll get right to it.  They took residential maps and drew a Red Line around all the black and poor communities which made it impossible for those residents to get federally backed loans to build or improve their property.  The Real Estate Board had already established their rules about NOT selling property in otherwise white neighborhoods to Negros and some cases, Jews, Chinese and Mexicans.

Between 1945 and 1959, the African American community received less than 2 % of all federally insured home loans.  No grand surprise there.

And broader effects were evident in the lack of good schools, decent healthcare and supermarkets.  Many retail business purposely built stores and supermarkets far from targeted residents resulting in a redlining effect.

So what does an African American family, with sufficient financial means, supposed to get ahead.   You can’t buy a house in a white neighborhood.  You can afford to improve your own house, but you can’t fix the entire neighborhood.  You’re simply stuck.

One would perhaps think that President Johnson’s Fair Housing Act of the ‘68 would be the answer. It did officially prohibit the “Refusal to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because their race, color, religion or national origin. But it was far from fixing the problem.  20 years later, Congress voted to weaken the ability of plaintiffs to prosecute cases of housing discrimination.

Nice to know your federal government is NOT on your side!

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