15 Dec 2010
The relationship between race,class, and residence in an American city between 1960 and 2005
Explore how the mechanisms of the housing market intersect with class and race to provide specific
residential landscape
Housing is concerned with poverty,discrmination, social and economic policy,exclusion, social welfare, and
urban spaces.
Geogrpahy=make an argument that looks at the role played by space in one or more of the social,
economic, and political dynamics of the housing market.
Imporant points/arguments
When the McGhees refused, Sipes and the Northwest Civic Association filed suit to prevent them from
moving in, on the grouns that the entire neighbourhoos was covered by a covenant that specified that
houses could not besold nor leased to, nor occupied by any person other than one of the Caucasian
race.(pg.181) so because of their class/race they were forbidden to move into a certain space because it
was only for white people. Hosuing market was determined by race, your race decided where you were
able to live/buy homes
The Wayne County Circuit Court helt that the McGhees were indeed “colored and that the covenant was
NAACP argued that the convenants violated state antidiscrimination laws and were unconstitutional under
the Fouteenth Amendement,(pg.182)
Judges around the counrty had regulary upheld such covenants as necessary and proper to protect the rights
of property owners. The Home Owners Loan Corporation and Federal Housing Administration used
racial restrictions to determine the actuarial soundness of a neighbourhood. FHA manuals encouraged
developers to put racial restrictions on their properties to protect thecharacter of a neighborhood and
to maintain high housing values.(pg.182) so these laws basically kept black people out of certain areas
away from whites designated them to certain areas
We can Live Anywhere!This far reaching decision means that a mortal blow has been struck at racial
restrictions in homes, artificially created ghettoes,… and countless other jim-crow manifestations made
possible because of heretofore enforced segregation in home ownership.(pg.182)=use as opening quotes
This inspired blacks in Detroit to move forth more bodly, looking for housing in predominantly white
neighbourhoods beyond the city’s racial frontier.(pg.182)
During this time many civil rights activits were optimistice that Detroit would soon be a racially integrated
city.(pg.183)=how much have we really changed there are no outright restricitons but for the same parts
there are still ghettoes that are occupied by mostly blacks, and whites still tend to live in rich
neighbourhoods by themselves, so is everything old new again?
Civil rights groups clung to the hope that a combination of litigation, legislation, and moral suasion would
break down the barriers of race that had kept blacks confined to the inner city.(pg.183)
private housing has become the means of bringing the Negro housing problem nearer solution, with every
indication that ultimately it will solve the whole problem of the ghetto(pg.183) written by detroits most
Prominent weekly at that time the Michigan Chronicle=critsize it say its optimistic but far from the
Racial boundaries pg.183
At the same time that African Americans battled to gain access to equal opportunities in the workplace,
civil rights organizations directed their energies towards the private housing market.(pg.183)
Blacks moved out of the oldes, most run-down sections of the city into newer neighborhoods, including
some that contained some of Detrioits finest housing stock, that had been all-white thorugh World War
Even though black housing conditions improved, patterns of residential segregation remained intact.
Virtually all of Detroits blacks--regardless of class and education, occupation, age or place of birth--
shared the experience of discriminantion in the city’s housing market. Only a handful of blacks ever
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lived for any significant period of time within predominantly white sections of the city, unless they ere
living-in servants.(pg.183) has this changed**research that town on Oprah
Argument= but to categorize the experience of blacks after world war 2 as a single process of ghettotization
is to simplfy a complex reality (pg.188)
Argument=detroits blacks created distinct sub communities (pg.188)
Argument= an unintended consequence of the opening of Detroits housing market was a hardening of class
divisions within black Detroit.(pg.188)
Argument= as white movement increased the housing options available to black city dwellers, blacks began
the process of sifting and subdividing, replicating within Detroits center city the divisions of class that
characterized the twentieth-centure metropolis as a whole(pg.188)
Those who were able to obtain relatively secure, high paying jobs were able to purchase their own homes.
They put pressure on the racial boundaries that confined them to the center city.(pg.188)
But those whore were trapped in poor-paying jobs and thrown out of work by deindustrialization remained
confined in the decaying inner city neighborhoods that had long housed the bulk of detroits black
population (pg.188)
Families with resources found the housing shortage especially fustrating, because their expectations far
exceeded the reality of the hosuing in the city.(pg.188)
Argument= first to push at the city’s racial boundaried was the rapidly growing black bourgeoise(pg.188)
Argument= because of the systematic discrimination in public facilities, blacks created a separate system of
race” businesses black owned, private hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and funeral homes (pg.188)
Many African americans joined the black elite through the traditional routes of ministry, education, and a
growing number of women joined the ranks of teaching and social work after world war 2.(pg.188)
A number of black entrepreneurs began to cross over into sectors of the economy that had been white
dominated (pg.189)
Black owned savings and loan associations and insurance companies filled the niche left by bankers and
actuaties who relentlessly redlined African American neighborhoods.(pg.189)
Argument=detroits black elite sought the status and security of residence in districts outside the traditional
inner-city neighbourhoods that had condined blacks through World War II. The looked for houses of
the size and grandeur appropriate to their economic and social status.(pg.189)
***”can no londer hold the ambitious Negro. He wants to get out of this mecca for card sharks, number
players, cult leaders, ‘prohets, and shady entertainment.” (pg.189)
By the late 1940’s detroits well to do blacks had the desire and the means to flee the overcrowded and
decrepit innter city.(pg.189)
Argument=high-status blacks were not alone in their aspirationgs to escape the inner city. Also seeking to
escape Detroitsrat belt were black city employees and automobile and defense workers. (pg.190)
Black workers had “sufficient fundsto free themselves from tragic overcrowding” in inner-city Detroit.
Argument= once the Detroit housing market became fluid, the pent-up black demand for housing spilled
over racial boundaries. (pg.190)
Argument=In the late 1940’s several neighbourhoods attracted upwardly mobile blacks fleeing the inner
city. Many who moved into the older neighbourhoods being abandoned by white did not view their
new homes as permanent residences, but instead treated their purchases or rentals asa temporary
route to thebest neighborhoodss. (pg.190)
Movement to older, formerly white areas gave black strivers a boost in status, whilte allowing them to build
up equity or savings to fund the purchase of a better home in the future.(pg.190)
Like whites, they hoped to enjoy unrestricted residential mobility(pg.190)
Civil rights activists believed that blacks should have equal access to the housing market, but more than
that, they should live side by side with whites to create a racially harmonious city. Only daily contact
between the races would solve the nationss pressing dilemma of racial prejudice and inequality.
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