Richard Rothstein, author and Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute, will join Dr. Evans in the final event of the Superintendent’s Speaker Series to look at how government actions, practices and policies interacted historically to create a powerful system of residential segregation in every metropolitan area in the U.S., and how African American students in our nation’s public schools were particularly disadvantaged. Among other insights, he’ll help the audience think about constitutionally required laws and new legal frameworks that can be used to redress the segregation of neighborhoods and schools.
This event is being held March 5, 2019 at 4:30pm at Berkeley High School in the Florence Schwimley (Little) Theater.
Here’s a more detailed excerpt from a write-up of Richard Rothstein’s 2018 book: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
The Color of Law documents how American cities, from San Francisco to Boston, became so racially divided, as federal, state, and local governments 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, official support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods, state licensing of real estate brokers whose code prohibited racial mixing, state and federal court orders evicting African Americans who moved to white neighborhoods, routing of highways to separate African American and white neighborhoods.
These policies were supplemented by racially purposeful government programs that depressed African American incomes, making escape nearly impossible from neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage. Properties in African American neighborhoods frequently had higher assessed-to-market-value ratios, resulting in higher property tax payments. The federal government certified unions that excluded African Americans from membership, denying them full participation in the economic boom that followed World War II.