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:
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.
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
Solomon Greene, Graham MacDonald, Olivia Arena, Tanaya Srini, Ruth Gourevitch, Richard Ezike, and Alena Stern, “Technology and Equity in Cities: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities,” Urban Institute (Nov 2019).
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