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Unjust DeedsThe Restrictive Covenant Cases and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement$
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Jeffrey D. Gonda

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625454

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625454.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Covenants

Covenants

Race and Housing in the 1940s

Chapter:
(p.15) One Covenants
Source:
Unjust Deeds
Author(s):

Jeffrey D. Gonda

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625454.003.0002

Chapter one introduces the litigants in the covenant cases against the backdrop of the housing crisis that seized the nation during the 1940s. A widespread shortage of decent homes compounded the tensions wrought by mass migration and an intensifying rights-conscious debate over access to homeownership. This chapter argues that the shortage of decent shelter forced the housing issue to the forefront of African Americans’ civil rights concerns and that restrictive covenants stood at the center of the ensuing fight. Exploring the processes of covenant breaking and enforcement, the chapter also illustrates the impact that racial restrictions had in the lives of black home-seekers and what they meant to both black and white communities.

Keywords:   Racial restrictive covenants, St. Louis, Detroit, Washington, D.C., FHA, Housing shortage

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