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urban history



  • Redlining Happened, but Not Exactly the Way We've Thought it Did

    New economic research reinforces an argument made by historian Amy Hillier, that federal agencies didn't invent "redlining" but responded to widespread public prejudices that imagined Black residents as threats to neighborhood property value. 



  • Reconstructing an Urban Archive Lost on 9/11

    The archives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which held important information about the history of the region's politics and infrastructure, was housed in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Agency retirees have sent documents, pictures and artifacts to start rebuilidng the record.



  • In Slasher Film ‘Candyman,’ the Horror Is U.S. Housing Policy

    by Brentin Mock

    “Candyman isn't the only ghost in this show,” says Stanford Carpenter, a cultural anthropologist based in Chicago. “The other ghost is Cabrini-Green. In both cases, the thing that makes them scary is that they were made that way by white systemic racism.”



  • House Hunting While Black: Racism Sabotages the American Dream

    by Keisha N. Blain

    "The current rate of mortgage denials — and the interrelated patterns of housing discrimination and exclusion — is rooted in American history. Discrimination against Black Americans applying for mortgage loans is not new."



  • The Rise of "UniverCity"

    Universities wield increasing control over their surrounding communities. Historian Davarian Baldwin discusses the impact of that power for good and ill. 



  • The Odd Place of one Savannah Neighborhood in the History of Redlining

    by Todd Michney

    The history of the Cuyler-Brownville area shows that HOLC risk assessments and Federal lending practices were responsive to local banks' perception of lending risk and desire for profit, factors which resulted in the rarity of an African American community retaining a "green" rating. 



  • Did Last Summer's BLM Protests Change Anything?

    by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    A commission convened by the Mayor of Philadelphia exemplifies the American preference for symbolism over substance in recently proclaimed "racial reckonings."