The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Liveright Publishing
17
Free sample

New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors' Choice Selection
One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction
Gold Winner • California Book Award (Nonfiction)
Finalist • Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)
Finalist • Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize

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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About the author

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where he is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley.

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4.3
17 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Liveright Publishing
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Published on
May 2, 2017
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781631492860
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
Law / Housing & Urban Development
Political Science / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In the decades following World War II, professional city planners in Detroit made a concerted effort to halt the city's physical and economic decline. Their successes included an award-winning master plan, a number of laudable redevelopment projects, and exemplary planning leadership in the city and the nation. Yet despite their efforts, Detroit was rapidly transforming into a notorious symbol of urban decay. In Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit, June Manning Thomas takes a look at what went wrong, demonstrating how and why government programs were ineffective and even destructive to community needs. In confronting issues like housing shortages, blight in older areas, and changing economic conditions, Detroit's city planners worked during the urban renewal era without much consideration for low-income and African American residents, and their efforts to stabilize racially mixed neighborhoods faltered as well. Steady declines in industrial prowess and the constant decentralization of white residents counteracted planners' efforts to rebuild the city. Among the issues Thomas discusses in this volume are the harmful impacts of Detroit's highways, the mixed record of urban renewal projects like Lafayette Park, the effects of the 1967 riots on Detroit's ability to plan, the city-building strategies of Coleman Young (the city's first black mayor) and his mayoral successors, and the evolution of Detroit's federally designated Empowerment Zone. Examining the city she knew first as an undergraduate student at Michigan State University and later as a scholar and planner, Thomas ultimately argues for a different approach to traditional planning that places social justice, equity, and community ahead of purely physical and economic objectives. Redevelopment and Race was originally published in 1997 and was given the Paul Davidoff Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in 1999. Students and teachers of urban planning will be grateful for this re-release. A new postscript offers insights into changes since 1997.
Updated second edition examining how the real estate industry and federal housing policy have facilitated the development of racial residential segregation.

Traditional explanations of metropolitan development and urban racial segregation have emphasized the role of consumer demand and market dynamics. In the first edition of Race, Real Estate, and Uneven Development Kevin Fox Gotham reexamined the assumptions behind these explanations and offered a provocative new thesis. Using the Kansas City metropolitan area as a case study, Gotham provided both quantitative and qualitative documentation of the role of the real estate industry and the Federal Housing Administration, demonstrating how these institutions have promulgated racial residential segregation and uneven development. Gotham challenged contemporary explanations while providing fresh insights into the racialization of metropolitan space, the interlocking dimensions of class and race in metropolitan development, and the importance of analyzing housing as a system of social stratification. In this second edition, he includes new material that explains the racially unequal impact of the subprime real estate crisis that began in late 2007, and explains why racial disparities in housing and lending remain despite the passage of fair housing laws and antidiscrimination statutes.

Praise for the First Edition

“This work challenges the notion that demographic change and residential patterns are ‘natural’ or products of free market choices … [it] contributes greatly to our understanding of how real estate interests shaped the hyper-segregation of American cities, and how government agencies[,] including school districts, worked in tandem to further demark the separate and unequal worlds in metropolitan life.” — H-Net Reviews (H-Education)

“A hallmark of this book is its fine-grained analysis of just how specific activities of realtors, the FHA program, and members of the local school board contributed to the residential segregation of blacks in twentieth century urban America. A process Gotham labels the ‘racialization of urban space’—the social construction of urban neighborhoods that links race, place, behavior, culture, and economic factors—has led white residents, realtors, businessmen, bankers, land developers, and school board members to act in ways that restricted housing for blacks to specific neighborhoods in Kansas City, as well as in other cities.” — Philip Olson, University of Missouri–Kansas City

“This is a book which is greatly needed in the field. Gotham integrates, using historical data, the involvement of the real estate industry and the collusion of the federal government in the manufacturing of racially biased housing practices. His work advances the struggle for civil rights by showing that solving the problem of racism is not as simple as banning legal discrimination, but rather needs to address the institutional practices at all levels of the real estate industry.” — Talmadge Wright, author of Out of Place: Homeless Mobilizations, Subcities, and Contested Landscapes
"Millions of foreclosed homes and abandoned buildings on one hand; millions of Americans desperate for decent shelter on the other. Hannah Dobbz makes the necessary addition of resources and needs in a book that is both a brilliant history of squatting in the USA and a template for the next stage of the Occupy movement.--Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums and Buda's Wagon

How does "property" fit into designs for an equitable society? Nine-tenths of the Law examines the history of squatting and property struggles in the United States, from colonialism to twentieth century urban squatting and the foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s, and how such resistance movements shape the law. Stories from our most hard-hit American cities show that property is truly in crisis:

One in five homes in Buffalo, NY, are abandoned.Our national housing vacancy rate is 14 percent. If we gave a house to every homeless person in the United States two-thirds of that stock would remain empty.In May of 2011, one in every 103 homes in Nevada was in foreclosure.

Nine-tenths of the Law expands our understanding of property law and highlights recent tactics like creative squatting ventures and the use of adverse possession to claim title to vacant homes. Hannah Dobbz unveils the tangled relationship Americans have always had in creating and sustaining healthy communities.

Hannah Dobbz is a writer, editor, filmmaker, and former squatter. In 2007 she produced a film about squatters in the Bay Area called Shelter. The film has screened widely at universities, bookstores, and community spaces, including the 2009 Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.

Praise for Stamped from the Beginning:

"We often describe a wonderful book as 'mind-blowing' or 'life-changing' but I've found this rarely to actually be the case. I found both descriptions accurate for Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning... I will never look at racial discrimination again after reading this marvellous, ambitious, and clear-sighted book." - George Saunders, Financial Times, Best Books of 2017

"Ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism." --Seattle Times

"A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society." --The Atlantic

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for NonfictionA New York Times BestsellerA Washington Post BestsellerOn President Obama's Black History Month Recommended Reading List
Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for NonfictionNamed one of the Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Review of Books, The Root, Buzzfeed, Bustle, and Entropy

Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Praise for Between the World and Me

“Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”—The Boston Globe

“Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”—The Washington Post

“Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”—Vogue

“A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”—The New Yorker

“Titanic and timely . . . essential reading.”—Entertainment Weekly
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