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The Color of Law Audiobook

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

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Publisher's Summary

In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation - that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation - the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments - that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.

Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north.

As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post-World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. Rothstein's invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.

©2017 Richard Rothstein (P)2017 Recorded Books

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    Paul Fletcher 07-29-17 Member Since 2017
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    "It is clear that poverty is not an accident."

    I hope that a number of educators will read this book and stop perpetuating myth that low-income African-American Children and Families are somehow incapable of overcoming the poverty and blighted conditions that they were born into. With the correct information, attitude and out look hope is possible, progress can only be made on facts not fiction.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Donivan Brown 08-08-17 Member Since 2017
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    "These truths are hard on the soul, but are a must."

    We live in a society which practices blindness. So many have been bludgeoned for the freedom of the majority but have yet to enjoy the freedom that our Constitution proclaims. We cannot be free or whole until we face out story and havoc it has wreaked upon African Americans.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Ale Gulfport, MS, US 09-11-17
    Ale Gulfport, MS, US 09-11-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Amazing book"

    This book offers an vivid description of a very real problem in the United States. I rn highly recommend it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warren Cameron 10-10-17 Member Since 2015
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    "An essential read"

    Puts the visible, yet seemingly mysterious effects of a long history of segregation into context and perspective. A must read for anyone who's ever wondered why we are so siloed, or why "those people" are the way that they - over there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Christopher O'Donoghue 10-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Eye-Opening!"

    Very informative, eye opening and captivating. Excellent book for any audience with an open mind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Anonymous 10-04-17
    10-04-17
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    "Great Real Estate educational read"

    The book was very informative and an eye opener for me. I enjoyed reading every minute of it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Demetrius Hoskins 09-30-17 Member Since 2017
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    "great read"

    eye opener must read for everyone this book should be in every school and required to be apart of the curriculum

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johanna Esquerre Amherst, NH United States 09-23-17
    Johanna Esquerre Amherst, NH United States 09-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A must read for anyone interested in history!"

    Fascinating. Jaw dropping and essential read. If you want to understand the protests by civil rights activists and Black Lives Matters protesters read this book. Be prepared to feel angry.

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    DCVAR 09-15-17
    DCVAR 09-15-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Segregation was & is no accident"

    A terrific account of how we (citizens & government at all levels) created a system of de jure segregation - a deliberate subversion of constitutional rights using a vast array of tools from regulation to state-sponsored violence - and share responsibility for its consequences & its solution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Wuan 09-15-17
    Wuan 09-15-17
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    "More people should read and understand and know."

    This book was very informative and superbly crafted and skillfully presented. More people should read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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