Join us for a discussion with two eminent African American Studies Scholars of how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned.
By the late 1960s and early 1970s, reeling from a wave of urban uprisings, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Reasoning that the turbulence could be calmed by turning Black city-dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, and set about establishing policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black homebuyers equally. The disaster that ensued revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transmuted into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion.
The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlinings end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners. As a result, by the end of the 1970s, the nations first programs to encourage Black homeownership ended with tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country. The push to uplift Black homeownership had descended into a goldmine for realtors and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made cudgel for the champions of deregulation to wield against government intervention of any kind.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is assistant professor of African American studies at Princeton University and author of From BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation and How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Imani Perry is Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of many important books, including More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Inequality in the U.S.; Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation; and Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry.
This event is cosponsored with Labyrinth Books Princeton