This isn’t the episode I was planning to record this week but I hope you’ll stick around to think about how the history of housing discrimination in America affects the mid-century houses we love and the world we all live in.
If your parents or grandparents bought a house in America during the post war boom years … they and you benefited from a system of racial oppression that encouraged white wealth building through home ownership with one hand … and held back black families with the other.
Mine did and I do.
So … I’m using this week’s podcast to talk about how systemic racism was literally built right into the Mid-Century neighborhoods that I otherwise love. We all need to acknowledge that part of our history and start talking more about what we can do to make positive, anti-racist changes in our own lives and communities.
In today’s episode you’ll hear …
- Why I think it is important to stop what I’m doing and address the systemic racism that is embedded in American culture and in the history of the Mid-Century era I otherwise love so much.
- How the wealth gap between black and white families in America holds people back [4:28]
- A quick history of the Great Migration that Black Americans undertook to escape Jim Crow … [5:15]
- … But how what they found here in the North was systematic Housing Discrimination and how that worked against black homeownership in many ways [6:05]
- How the Fair Housing Act (1968) didn’t really fix things … it couldn’t. [8:35]
- And how blue states like mine and liberal cities like Madison use subtle racism to keep black and white families segregated to this day [9:42]
- A few ideas about what we can to today to be more anti-racist in our lives and our homes: work on self-education, offer support to demonstrators, call representatives, VOTE … and encourage density and mixed use development with affordable housing IN OUR OWN COMMUNITIES [11:38]
Listen now on
Resources to help you understand housing discrimination Mentioned in this Episode
- Racism and the Wealth Gap, via the While Black podcast
- What we get wrong about Closing the Racial Wealth Gap (report by Duke University)
- Ta-Nehisi Coates: “The Case for Reparations” The Atlantic
- Ta-Nihisi Coates: “This Town Needs a Better Class of Racist” The Atlantic
- Racism in the Real Estate CODE OF ETHICS
- There is still racial discrimination in the way that homes and apartments are shown to families of color
- The Fair Housing Act via Code Switch episode April 11 2018 “Location, Location Location”
- NY Times News Analysis: It was Never about Bussing: Court-ordered desegregation worked but white racism made it hard to accept
- Code Switch “Location, Location Location”
- While Black “Where is my 40 acres and a mule? Housing Discrimination and Wealth Building … While Black”
- East Bay Yesterday “Unfair Housing: why Racism and Real Estate are so hard to Untangle” (this link to the associated blog post has a lot of great pictures)
- WBEZ Reset with Jenn White
- NPR Politics Podcast
- NPR It’s been a Minute with Sam Sanders
- What A Day
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Black Lives Matter
- ACLU (or find your local chapter)
- The Bail Project | Freedom should be Free
- YIMBY (Yes in my Backyard) Intro article in the Atlantic
- ADU (Accessory Dwelling Units) in Madison
- Join us on in the Facebook Community for Mid Mod Remodel
- Find me on Instagram:@midmodmidwest
- Find the podcast on Instagram: @midmodremodelpodcast