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To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video. Need help? How do I find a book? The men who peddled contracts in North Lawndale would sell homes at inflated prices and then evict families who could not pay—taking their down payment and their monthly installments as profit. Ross had tried to get a legitimate mortgage in another neighborhood, but was told by a loan officer that there was no financing available. The truth was that there was no financing for people like Clyde Ross. From the s through the s, black people across the country were largely cut out of the legitimate home-mortgage market through means both legal and extralegal.

Their efforts were buttressed by the federal government. In , Congress created the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA insured private mortgages, causing a drop in interest rates and a decline in the size of the down payment required to buy a house. But an insured mortgage was not a possibility for Clyde Ross. The FHA had adopted a system of maps that rated neighborhoods according to their perceived stability.

They were colored in red. Neither the percentage of black people living there nor their social class mattered. Black people were viewed as a contagion. Redlining went beyond FHA-backed loans and spread to the entire mortgage industry, which was already rife with racism, excluding black people from most legitimate means of obtaining a mortgage. The devastating effects are cogently outlined by Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. In Chicago and across the country, whites looking to achieve the American dream could rely on a legitimate credit system backed by the government.

Blacks were herded into the sights of unscrupulous lenders who took them for money and for sport. The kill was profitable. During this period, according to one estimate, 85 percent of all black home buyers who bought in Chicago bought on contract. Clyde Ross still lives there. He still owns his home. He is 91, and the emblems of survival are all around him—awards for service in his community, pictures of his children in cap and gown. But when I asked him about his home in North Lawndale, I heard only anarchy. He was sitting at his dining-room table.

His glasses were as thick as his Clarksdale drawl. So how dumb am I? I just left this mess. I just left no laws. And no regard. And then I come here and get cheated wide open. You could fall through the cracks easy fighting these white people.

And no law. But fight Clyde Ross did. Contract sellers used every tool at their disposal to pilfer from their clients. They scared white residents into selling low. They presented themselves as real-estate brokers, when in fact they were the owners. They guided their clients to lawyers who were in on the scheme. The Contract Buyers League fought back. They refused to pay their installments, instead holding monthly payments in an escrow account. Ross and the Contract Buyers League were no longer appealing to the government simply for equality. They were no longer fleeing in hopes of a better deal elsewhere.

They were charging society with a crime against their community. They wanted the crime publicly ruled as such. And they wanted restitution for the great injury brought upon them by said offenders. In , Clyde Ross and the Contract Buyers League were no longer simply seeking the protection of the law. They were seeking reparations. A ccording to the most-recent statistics , North Lawndale is now on the wrong end of virtually every socioeconomic indicator.

In its population was , Today it is 36, The neighborhood is 92 percent black. Its homicide rate is 45 per ,—triple the rate of the city as a whole. The infant-mortality rate is 14 per 1,—more than twice the national average. Forty-five percent of all households are on food stamps—nearly three times the rate of the city at large.

Teacher Education for High Poverty Schools

Sears, Roebuck left the neighborhood in , taking 1, jobs with it. North Lawndale is an extreme portrait of the trends that ail black Chicago. Such is the magnitude of these ailments that it can be said that blacks and whites do not inhabit the same city. When the Harvard sociologist Robert J. Sampson examined incarceration rates in Chicago in his book, Great American City , he found that a black neighborhood with one of the highest incarceration rates West Garfield Park had a rate more than 40 times as high as the white neighborhood with the highest rate Clearing.

The lives of black Americans are better than they were half a century ago. The humiliation of Whites Only signs are gone. Rates of black poverty have decreased. Black teen-pregnancy rates are at record lows—and the gap between black and white teen-pregnancy rates has shrunk significantly. But such progress rests on a shaky foundation, and fault lines are everywhere. The income gap between black and white households is roughly the same today as it was in Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, studied children born from through and found that 4 percent of whites and 62 percent of blacks across America had been raised in poor neighborhoods.

A generation later, the same study showed, virtually nothing had changed. And whereas whites born into affluent neighborhoods tended to remain in affluent neighborhoods, blacks tended to fall out of them. This is not surprising. Black families, regardless of income, are significantly less wealthy than white families. The Pew Research Center estimates that white households are worth roughly 20 times as much as black households, and that whereas only 15 percent of whites have zero or negative wealth, more than a third of blacks do.

Effectively, the black family in America is working without a safety net. When financial calamity strikes—a medical emergency, divorce, job loss—the fall is precipitous. And just as black families of all incomes remain handicapped by a lack of wealth, so too do they remain handicapped by their restricted choice of neighborhood. Black people with upper-middle-class incomes do not generally live in upper-middle-class neighborhoods. The implications are chilling. As a rule, poor black people do not work their way out of the ghetto—and those who do often face the horror of watching their children and grandchildren tumble back.

Even seeming evidence of progress withers under harsh light. In , the Manhattan Institute cheerily noted that segregation had declined since the s. And yet African Americans still remained—by far—the most segregated ethnic group in the country. With segregation, with the isolation of the injured and the robbed, comes the concentration of disadvantage. An unsegregated America might see poverty, and all its effects, spread across the country with no particular bias toward skin color.

Instead, the concentration of poverty has been paired with a concentration of melanin. The resulting conflagration has been devastating. One thread of thinking in the African American community holds that these depressing numbers partially stem from cultural pathologies that can be altered through individual grit and exceptionally good behavior.

It is also wrong. The kind of trenchant racism to which black people have persistently been subjected can never be defeated by making its victims more respectable. The essence of American racism is disrespect. And in the wake of the grim numbers, we see the grim inheritance. The suit dragged on until , when the league lost a jury trial. Securing the equal protection of the law proved hard; securing reparations proved impossible. Board of Education and all that nonsense.

The Supreme Court seems to share that sentiment. The past two decades have witnessed a rollback of the progressive legislation of the s. Liberals have found themselves on the defensive. In , when Barack Obama was a candidate for president, he was asked whether his daughters—Malia and Sasha—should benefit from affirmative action. He answered in the negative. The exchange rested upon an erroneous comparison of the average American white family and the exceptional first family.

In the contest of upward mobility, Barack and Michelle Obama have won. But that comparison is incomplete. The more telling question is how they compare with Jenna and Barbara Bush—the products of many generations of privilege, not just one. In , the freedwoman Belinda Royall petitioned the commonwealth of Massachusetts for reparations. Belinda had been born in modern-day Ghana. She was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery. She endured the Middle Passage and 50 years of enslavement at the hands of Isaac Royall and his son.

But the junior Royall, a British loyalist, fled the country during the Revolution. Belinda, now free after half a century of labor, beseeched the nascent Massachusetts legislature:. Belinda Royall was granted a pension of 15 pounds and 12 shillings, to be paid out of the estate of Isaac Royall—one of the earliest successful attempts to petition for reparations.


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At the time, black people in America had endured more than years of enslavement, and the idea that they might be owed something in return was, if not the national consensus, at least not outrageous. As the historian Roy E. Finkenbine has documented, at the dawn of this country, black reparations were actively considered and often effected. In his book Forever Free , Eric Foner recounts the story of a disgruntled planter reprimanding a freedman loafing on the job:. In the 20th century, the cause of reparations was taken up by a diverse cast that included the Confederate veteran Walter R. Charles J.

Ogletree Jr. But while the people advocating reparations have changed over time, the response from the country has remained virtually the same. Not exactly. Having been enslaved for years, black people were not left to their own devices. They were terrorized. In the Deep South, a second slavery ruled. In the North, legislatures, mayors, civic associations, banks, and citizens all colluded to pin black people into ghettos, where they were overcrowded, overcharged, and undereducated. Businesses discriminated against them, awarding them the worst jobs and the worst wages.

Police brutalized them in the streets. And the notion that black lives, black bodies, and black wealth were rightful targets remained deeply rooted in the broader society. It is as though we have run up a credit-card bill and, having pledged to charge no more, remain befuddled that the balance does not disappear. The effects of that balance, interest accruing daily, are all around us. Broach the topic of reparations today and a barrage of questions inevitably follows: Who will be paid? How much will they be paid? Who will pay? But if the practicalities, not the justice, of reparations are the true sticking point, there has for some time been the beginnings of a solution.

For the past 25 years, Congressman John Conyers Jr. We would support this bill, submit the question to study, and then assess the possible solutions. But we are not interested. But all we are talking about is studying [reparations]. As John Conyers has said, we study everything. We study the water, the air. This bill does not authorize one red cent to anyone. That HR 40 has never—under either Democrats or Republicans—made it to the House floor suggests our concerns are rooted not in the impracticality of reparations but in something more existential.

The last slaveholder has been dead for a very long time. The last soldier to endure Valley Forge has been dead much longer. A nation outlives its generations. We were not there when Woodrow Wilson took us into World War I, but we are still paying out the pensions. If George Washington crossing the Delaware matters, so must his ruthless pursuit of the runagate Oney Judge. The high point of the lynching era has passed. But the memories of those robbed of their lives still live on in the lingering effects.

In Pursuit of a Dream Deferred: Linking Housing and Education Policy by John A. Powell

Indeed, in America there is a strange and powerful belief that if you stab a black person 10 times, the bleeding stops and the healing begins the moment the assailant drops the knife. There has always been another way. A merica begins in black plunder and white democracy , two features that are not contradictory but complementary. Morgan wrote.


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  • Most of them had inherited both their slaves and their attachment to freedom from an earlier generation, and they knew the two were not unconnected. When enslaved Africans, plundered of their bodies, plundered of their families, and plundered of their labor, were brought to the colony of Virginia in , they did not initially endure the naked racism that would engulf their progeny.

    Some of them were freed. Some of them intermarried. Still others escaped with the white indentured servants who had suffered as they had. Some even rebelled together, allying under Nathaniel Bacon to torch Jamestown in One hundred years later, the idea of slaves and poor whites joining forces would shock the senses, but in the early days of the English colonies, the two groups had much in common.

    As life spans increased in the colony, the Virginia planters found in the enslaved Africans an even more efficient source of cheap labor. Whereas indentured servants were still legal subjects of the English crown and thus entitled to certain protections, African slaves entered the colonies as aliens. For the next years, American law worked to reduce black people to a class of untouchables and raise all white men to the level of citizens. But at the beginning of the 18th century, two primary classes were enshrined in America.

    The state with the largest number of enslaved Americans was Virginia, where in certain counties some 70 percent of all people labored in chains. Nearly one-fourth of all white Southerners owned slaves, and upon their backs the economic basis of America—and much of the Atlantic world—was erected.

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    In the seven cotton states, one-third of all white income was derived from slavery. The web of this slave society extended north to the looms of New England, and across the Atlantic to Great Britain, where it powered a great economic transformation and altered the trajectory of world history. The wealth accorded America by slavery was not just in what the slaves pulled from the land but in the slaves themselves.

    Blight has noted. Loans were taken out for purchase, to be repaid with interest. Insurance policies were drafted against the untimely death of a slave and the loss of potential profits. Slave sales were taxed and notarized. The vending of the black body and the sundering of the black family became an economy unto themselves, estimated to have brought in tens of millions of dollars to antebellum America.

    In there were more millionaires per capita in the Mississippi Valley than anywhere else in the country.

    In Pursuit of a Dream Deferred: Linking Housing and Education Policy

    Beneath the cold numbers lay lives divided. Our affection for each was very strong, and this made us always apprehensive of a cruel parting. Forced partings were common in the antebellum South. A slave in some parts of the region stood a 30 percent chance of being sold in his or her lifetime.

    Twenty-five percent of interstate trades destroyed a first marriage and half of them destroyed a nuclear family. When the wife and children of Henry Brown, a slave in Richmond, Virginia, were to be sold away, Brown searched for a white master who might buy his wife and children to keep the family together. He failed:. In a time when telecommunications were primitive and blacks lacked freedom of movement, the parting of black families was a kind of murder.

    Here we find the roots of American wealth and democracy—in the for-profit destruction of the most important asset available to any people, the family. By erecting a slave society, America created the economic foundation for its great experiment in democracy. The consequences of years of enslavement, of war upon black families and black people, were profound. Like homeownership today, slave ownership was aspirational, attracting not just those who owned slaves but those who wished to. Much as homeowners today might discuss the addition of a patio or the painting of a living room, slaveholders traded tips on the best methods for breeding workers, exacting labor, and doling out punishment.

    By the dawn of the Civil War, the enslavement of black America was thought to be so foundational to the country that those who sought to end it were branded heretics worthy of death. Imagine what would happen if a president today came out in favor of taking all American homes from their owners: the reaction might well be violent. Terrorism carried the day. Federal troops withdrew from the South in Stoesz, Karger, and Carrilio argue that the lack of scholarship of the Board of Directors compromises this accreditation policy.

    Similarly, the quality of professional literature suffers from the weak scholarship of editors and referees. The caliber of deans and directors of social work educational programs is low and graduate students are ill-prepared to commence studies in social work.

    Further complicating this debate, the substitution of ideology for academic rigor makes social work vulnerable to its critics. The authors state that, since CSWE is unlikely to reform social work education, schools of social work should be free to obtain accreditation independently, and they propose criteria for independent accreditation. A Dream Deferred builds on the past, presents a bracing critique of the present, and proposes recommendations for a better future that cannot be ignored or dismissed. The authors assert social work education must reform itself by reconceptualizing the accreditation model, reevaluating the pedagogical agenda, and mandating intellectual rigor.

    Reed, Choice -[T]he authors present a pointed critique of the intellectual and administrative deficiencies of social work journals; the paucity of scholarship among deans and directors, journal editors, and CSWE board members; the lack of sufficient faculty and well-qualified students to fill the everexpanding number of accredited programs; and the high debt and poor job prospects of today's graduates.

    A Dream Deferred may stimulate a conversation the profession has ignored for too long. That alone would be a worthy outcome. Reed, Choice "[T]he authors present a pointed critique of the intellectual and administrative deficiencies of social work journals; the paucity of scholarship among deans and directors, journal editors, and CSWE board members; the lack of sufficient faculty and well-qualified students to fill the everexpanding number of accredited programs; and the high debt and poor job prospects of today's graduates. Reed, Choice.