Racial Segregation During The Postwar City : An Explosive History Essay

Racial Segregation During The Postwar City : An Explosive History Essay

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The United States’ government had always had a hand on our country’s housing market. From requiring land ownership to vote, to providing public housing to impoverished families, our government had become an irremovable part of the housing market. The effects of these housing policies can affect American residents in ways they might not even recognize.
In his article, “Race and Housing in the Postwar City: An Explosive History,” Raymond Mohl focuses on suburbanization and racial segregation in post-World War II America. Due to discriminatory practices in the housing market, Mohl believes there were actually two housing markets in America, one for white people and one for black people. Many African American families were unable to find their own home, thanks to the color line and limited African American housing, forcing them to share a home with another family, and sometimes, families. This lead to the government feeling the need to intervene with the Housing Act of 1949, though the act didn’t solve the problem of the dual housing market, and other urban development policies. Mohl believes that these government policies lead to both “magnified the patterns of racial segregation,” and “triggered racial transitions and neighborhoods turnover,’ (13). Urban renewal policies effectively moved many African American families out of the inner city by condemning and destroying housing that did not live up to sanitary and housing codes, leading the black middle-class to look towards white transitional areas. As for the lower-class, they moved into the newly built public housing that took the place of housing destroyed through urban renewal. To Mohl, these governmental policies are what “solidified black ghettoization,” by keeping p...


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...e turning point for the New Orleanian public’s view of public housing, stating that public housing proceeded with little opposition (455). However, even with little opposition, Gonzalez-Perez implies that public housing still could not escape the grasp of political hinderance. She acknowledges the fact that although New Orleans had historically mixed residences, public housing increased the racial segregation in the city, due to there being separate projects for whites and blacks. Gonzalez-Perez notes that the white projects maintained higher vacancy rates than the black projects, and through her research, feels this was due to white residents having better employment opportunities as well as white projects having a more desirable location. Overall, Gonzalez-Perez concludes that due to the political wars, public housing policies in New Orleans was doomed to fail.

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