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Segregation Academies Still Operate Across The South

A mile of Alabama country road, and a history of racism, separate the two schools. At the stop sign between them, even the road’s name changes. Threadgill Road, christened for a civil rights hero, becomes Whiskey Run. Black students take Threadgill to one campus; white students turn off Whiskey Run toward the other. Both schools are shrinking. Wilcox County, a notch in the swath of old plantation country known as the Black Belt, struggles with declining population — a common scenario across this part of the South. In such places, the existence of two separate school systems can isolate entire communities by race.

White Residents Of Baton Rouge, Louisiana To Form Separate City

The State Supreme Court in the southern US state of Louisiana, on April 26, gave the city of St. George the right to secede from the larger capital city of Baton Rouge. This has cleared the way for a group of wealthy white Baton Rouge residents to carve out a majority-white enclave of the largely Black city—recalling the history in the US of segregation and white flight. Wealthy, white residents of Baton Rouge have been trying to secede from the rest of the city in some shape or form for over a decade. In 2012, a group of parents went to the state legislature to propose the creation of a separate school district which they called the Southeast Community School District. This effort failed, but the following year they tried once again and also failed.

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Created A ‘Climate Time Bomb’ In Black Neighborhoods

Nearly 45 years ago, the Acres Homes area north of Houston was the largest unincorporated Black community in the South, a thriving 9-square mile area  where homeownership was the norm. That was until the city of Houston annexed it, and the Interstate 45 highway was built through its heart. In the aftermath, the community’s poverty rate has jumped to almost double the city’s average, and health ailments from pollution  have increased. President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, one of the nation’s most significant investments in curbing climate change, was supposed to consider the history of areas like Acres Homes in an attempt to make communities whole again.

70 Years After Brown Vs. Board Of Ed, Public Schools Still Deeply Segregated

Brown vs. Board of Education, the pivotal Supreme Court decision that made school segregation unconstitutional, turns 70 years old on May 17, 2024. At the time of the 1954 ruling, 17 U.S. states had laws permitting or requiring racially segregated schools. The Brown decision declared that segregation in public schools was “inherently unequal.” This was, in part, because the court argued that access to equitable, nonsegregated education played a critical role in creating informed citizens – a paramount concern for the political establishment amid the Cold War. With Brown, the justices overturned decades of legal precedent that kept Black Americans in separate and unequal schools.

Big Win For Victims Of Racist Restrictive Covenants

On April 23, 2023, the Washington state legislature passed the Covenants Homeownership Act (CHA), pioneering legislation that will provide compensation to victims of the racist restrictive covenants that destroyed opportunities for generations of Black, Asian, Latinx, and Indigenous families. Historians have been working in dozens of locations to document the extent and impact of racial restrictive covenants, finding them in thousands of neighborhoods and showing that they have a close connection to today’s disparate rates of homeownership and wealth. Now the state of Washington is taking action to compensate the victims, and doing so with a law designed to survive court challenges that might scuttle reparations or programs that are overtly race based.

How The US Government Segregated America

For many years, I worked in Boston public housing with teams of residents, community organizations, public housing staff and other professors on reducing and removing the many asthma triggers that caused the highest rates of asthma and asthma attacks in the city.  Living and working in the heart of the city neighborhoods, I was keenly aware of the apartheid nature of public and residential housing (black Roxbury, white South Boston, white gentrification overtaking Boston’s mixed-income interracial neighborhoods, and white suburbs) I had been familiar with the mid-20th century pattern of “white flight” from urban neighborhoods to suburbs, abetted by venal realtors scaring white residents to sell low while selling high to black homebuyers, and “redlining”–realtors and banks refusing to show or offer mortgages to qualified African American homebuyers in white neighborhoods. 

Powerful Government Policy Segregated Us

I am the author of a book, The Color of Law, that disproves the myth of de facto segregation. In truth, we are residentially segregated, not naturally or from private bigotry, but primarily by racially explicit policies of federal, state, and local governments designed to prevent African Americans and whites from living as neighbors; these 20th-century policies were so powerful that they determine much of today’s residential, social, and economic inequality. Because powerful government policy segregated us, racial boundaries violate the fifth, 13th, and 14th amendments. Our nation thus has a positive constitutional obligation to redress segregation with policies as intentional as those that segregated us. The federal government made housing and homeownership critical to families’ economic stability and upward mobility.

One Of The Wealthiest States Might Pass An Opportunity To Tackle Housing Segregation

Despite its liberal reputation — and Democrats controlling the legislature for the last 23 years and the governor’s mansion for nine — Connecticut is one of the most segregated places in the country. And with thousands of residents pouring into the streets this month to protest racism, housing advocates and progressive Democrats saw an opportunity to change that, calling for an overhaul of the state’s exclusionary housing laws. That opportunity, however, appears to be fading. At the state Capitol, Gov. Ned Lamont and legislative leaders have shelved a raft of proposals that could spur more affordable housing, after ending the legislative session early this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

How Wealthy Towns Keep People With Housing Vouchers Out

HARTFORD, Conn. — On a sweltering Saturday afternoon last June, Crystal Carter took a deep breath as she walked toward the red “for rent” sign. Shaded by tall oak trees, the three-story duplex looked cozy. The first floor siding was painted yellow, with white railings leading to the front door. The windows appeared new, the lawn freshly cut. Although the property was in Barry Square, on the edge of a struggling area in southern Hartford, the family outside buoyed Carter’s spirits.

NYC Students Strike To Demand Racial Equity In Nation’s Largest—And Most Segregated—School District

For the second consecutive week, students in New York City went on strike Monday morning to protest persistent segregation in their schools more than six decades after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schools must serve children of all races equally. Led by the grassroots campaign Teens Take Charge, hundreds of students from several city high schools demanded an end to New York's "screening" system which has made the United States' largest school district also its most segregated. "We've met with politicians time and time again to urge them to integrate our schools," Marcus Alston...

In Baltimore, Money Still Follows The Segregation Map

New study shows the differences in economic activity—and access to opportunity—between neighborhoods new analysis of investment patterns in Baltimore shows the degree to which decades-old housing policy that divided the city by race has locked in a landscape of “haves” and “have nots.” Between 2011 and 2016, Baltimore neighborhoods that are less than 50% African American received four times the investments of neighborhoods that are over 85% African American, according to the report published today by the Urban Institute.

America Has Desegregated In Name Only

It’s a little-acknowledged reality that housing markets distribute more than mere dwellings. That’s because people’s place in the social order is intimately related to their geographic location generally, and where they live specifically. Housing quality functions both as a reflection and driver of inequality. Beyond that, however, better homes come with better neighborhoods that afford other opportunity-expanding advantages: good, well-funded schools; high-quality and readily available health care; agreeable recreational facilities and parks; full-service grocery stores with healthy foods; excellent retail outlets; nice sit-down restaurants; well-kept roads and other infrastructure; safe distance from pollutants, major transport and cargo routes...

Fracking Boom Takes Toll On Pennsylvania’s Communities Of Color And Lower-Income Areas

The construction of new natural gas-fired power plants in Pennsylvania is disproportionately harming lower-income populations in rural parts of the state, while communities of color are substantially more likely to live near existing gas-powered plants in the state, according to a new report. Released Wednesday by Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental advocacy group, the report paints an alarming picture of what the dramatic growth in natural gas production in Pennsylvania means for disadvantaged communities, both urban and rural, that are more likely than ever to host the industry’s rapid expansion of drilling and power plants in the state. People of color make up 30 percent or more of the population in nearly 25 percent of Pennsylvania census tracts but make up nearly half of the census tracts within a three-mile footprint of an existing fossil fuel power plant.

If This Happened In Alabama There Would Be Uproar: In Israel, It’s The Norm

How would you describe a white town in a southern state in the United States that froze the tender for plots of land in a new neighborhood because it risked allowing blacks to move in? As racist? What would you think of the town’s mayor for claiming the decision was taken in the interests of preserving the “white character” of his community? That he was a bigot? And how would you characterize the policy of the state in which this town was located if it enforced almost complete segregation between whites and blacks, ghettoizing the black population? As apartheid, or maybe Jim Crow? And yet, replace the word “white” with “Jewish” and this describes what has just happened in Kfar Vradim, a small town of 6,000 residents in the Galilee, in Israel’s north. More disturbing still, Vradim’s policy cannot be judged in isolation. It is a reflection of how Israeli society has been intentionally structured for decades.

US Education Segregation Is Highly Profitable Business For Some

By Mark Karlin for Truthout - However, as I completed the research and writing for the book, I found that in this country we have had and continue to have a stubborn insistence on educating children who are economically vulnerable in completely different ways than we do the children who are wealthy. We try to convince students who are not wealthy that certain forms of education (such as those that are vocational in nature, or that include art, music and support for different learning styles) would work best for them. In this way, educational apartheid has remained constant. At the same time, children of color, or poor children who are somehow able to live in school districts and neighborhoods that have high performing schools can actually attend them. So, that's a definite change. The late poet, Amiri Baraka, referred to [the US] as a "changing same." I think in many ways that construct aptly describes our nation's educational system relative to students who are poor and of color. Educational apartheid is a changing same. How is capitalism related to the "segrenomics" of education in the US? Segrenomics is a term I came up with to describe what I saw in so many discrete educational periods in [the US] where there was a consistent cycle for plundering funds supposedly for our nation's most vulnerable students and then hoarding those same funds to educate students who were either wealthy, or white and often times ... both.
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