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The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
June 8, 2017 @ 7:00 am - 8:30 am EDT

To scholars and social critics, segregation in our neighborhoods has long been viewed as a manifestation of unscrupulous real estate agents, unethical mortgage lenders, and exclusionary covenants working outside the law. This has largely ignored the evidence that the U.S. government did not merely overlook discriminatory practices, but promoted and enforced them.

EPI researcher Richard Rothstein recently explored America’s history of government-sponsored residential segregation in his new book “The Color of Law.”

Rothstein will appear at EPI on Thursday, June 8 at 11:00 AM to discuss his new book. Click here to RSVP to the event. Rothstein will be joined by Rep. Gwen Moore and law professor and Director of the Center for Civil Rights at UNC Law, Ted Shaw.

This event will be livestreamed here.

“The Color of Law” documents how federal, state, and local governments, with racially explicit intent, segregated cities from San Francisco to Boston. It exposes little-known facts about racially conscious government policy to enforce residential segregation, accelerating in the New Deal and continuing for decades afterwards. And it demonstrates that government’s purposeful creation of ghettos created a framework for conflicts in places like Ferguson, Baltimore, Milwaukee and Charlotte.

In “The Color of Law,” Rothstein recounts how residential racial segregation by state action has violated our Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and he describes the kinds of remedies that are constitutionally required to desegregate metropolitan areas nationwide.

Richard Rothstein recently discussed his new book on NPR’s Fresh Airwith Terry Gross. Click here to hear their conversation.

Rothstein has spent years documenting evidence of these illegal government practices and the devastating impact they have had on generations of African-Americans who were denied the right to live where they wanted to live, and raise and school their children where they thought best.
It is only by understanding the full impact of these discriminatory public policies that we can hope to learn from them and correct our government’s actions moving forward.