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Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
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Living the Legacy

This map depicts the HOLC valuations for Indianapolis in 1937.

Redlining – the discriminatory practice by which banks refuse or limit mortgages to people of color, ethnic minorities, and low-income workers within specific geographic areas- still defines much of where we live or can live in Indianapolis. These federal government policies, established by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation in 1933, reinforced segregation and disinvestment in parts of the community, with ramifications felt today, particularly in black neighborhoods. 

In the Fall of 2020, the Indiana Historical Society held Living the Legacy, a series of interdisciplinary conversations looking at the legacy and ramifications of racist housing practices in Indianapolis. As the city began to commemorate its 200th birthday, this program series offered interdisciplinary discussion with advocates, leaders, and scholars to examine the tangled roots of race, class, and housing.

Ultimately, we cannot address current inequalities in our city without an understanding of our past. Couched in history and supported by collections materials, these events placed Indianapolis’ housing story within the national context and grappled with its consequences as we aim to move forward toward more equitable solutions today.

Below you will find a toolkit of resources with further reading, watching and listening suggestions.

Living the Legacy is a project of the Indiana Historical Society created in collaboration with a steering committee of community advocates:

This bicentennial program series has been made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate. With additional support from Lake City Bank.

Questions about the Living the Legacy Program series? Please contact Callie McCune, Public Programs Manager at the Indiana Historical Society.

Living the Legacy Discussion Recordings

2020 Lacy Family Distinguished Lecturer – Rethinking Redlining and Segregation: Prologue to the COVID-19 Crisis with Dr. N.D.B. Connolly.

Panel Conversation #1: Making it Local – Unai Miguel Andres, Paul Mullins, Stacia Murphy, and Wildstyle Paschall. (September 29, 2020)

Panel Conversation #2: Developing the City – Brad Beaubien, Austin Gibble, Lourenzo Giple, and Brittanie Redd. (October 27, 2020)

Panel Conversation #3: Creating Equity Today – Andy Beck, Janis Bradley, Amy Nelson and Diana Rice-Wilkerson. (November 10, 2020)

Organizations and Partners

Looking to learn more or get involved in  equitable housing solutions in Indianapolis? Find out how by getting involved with these organizations:

  • Homes for All-Indy, hosted by the Kheprw Institute. Learn more about efforts to initiate a Community Land Trust system
  • Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana is a non-profit fighting to ensure equal housing opportunities by eliminating discrimination.
  • Kheprw Institute works to create a more just, equitable and human centered world by nurturing its community.
  • People’s Planning Academy is an initiative from the Department of Metropolitan Development at the City of Indianapolis that demystifies the planning process and empowers neighbors to take an active role in their communities. A new session starts early 2021.
  • Listen or watch the Home and Finance Show, where Diana Rice-Wilkerson and Janis Bradley demystify the home buying process for our entire community.
Indianapolis Resources and Readings

Articles and Blogs:

Books, Reports, Theses and Exhibitions:


Primary Sources
Reading List- Books and Journal Articles

We recommend checking out some of these resources from your local library, or if you would like to purchase a copy for yourself, supporting a local bookseller in your community.

  • N.D.B. Connolly, A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida, 2014
  • Aaron Glantz, Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream, 2019
  • Kevin Fox Gotham, “Urban Space, Restrictive Covenants, and the Origins of Racial Residential Segregation in a US City, 1900-1950,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 24(3):616-633, 2000.
  • Sonia A. Hirt, Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land-Use Regulation, 2014
  • Michael W. Hudson, The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America – and Spawned a Global Crisis, 2011
  • Louis Hyman, Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink, 2011
  • Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States, 1985.
  • Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961
  • George Lipsitz, The Progressive Investment in Whiteness: How White People profit from Identity Politics, 2006.
  • Amy Maria Kenyon, Dreaming Suburbia: Detroit and the Production of Postwar Space and Culture, 2004
  • Richard B. Pierce, Polite Protest: The Political Economy of Race in Indianapolis, 1920-1970, 2005
  • Ashanté M. Reese, Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C., 2019
  • Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, 2017  
  • Ted Rutland, Displacing Blackness: Planning Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century Halifax, 2018
  • Samuel Stein, Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State, 2019
  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, 2019
  • Chloe N. Thurston, At the Boundaries of Homeownership: Credit, Discrimination, and the American State, 2018
  • Andrew Wiese, Places of their Own: African American Suburbanization in the 20th Century, 2005 
Reading List- Articles, Reports + Exhibits
map of area around IHS location
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