Throughout history, youth have been at the center of making change. Here are a few reflections from high school students of color who chose to speak out against racism.
Reflect on these big-idea questions before you read to the article.Then revisit them after you finish the article and video. Notice if any of your responses change.
What are racial restrictive covenants? How were they used to create residential segregation?
What role has the federal government played in incentivizing white racially segregated neighborhoods?
How has urban planning influenced how your neighborhood has been racialized? Who has benefitted?
Jim Crow of the North
Roots of racial disparities are seen through a new lens in this film that explores the origins of housing segregation in the Minneapolis area. But the story also illustrates how African-American families and leaders resisted this insidious practice, and how Black people built community — within and despite — the red lines that these restrictive covenants created.
After watching this video. consider the following questions:
What was the story of the 1st Black family in Prospect Park in 1909? What tactics did the white people use to try to remove the Black family? How did the Black families resist? How did this incident spark the first racial covenant? How would the city have been different if they welcomed the Madison-Jackson family?
Looking at the racial covenants, what groups were denied access to homeownership? What groups were granted access? How was anti-Blackness explicitly shown in these covenants?
Despite economic success and social influence, Black families such as the Francis family and the Lee family, were still subject to racism and actively resisted. How were the white families able to use structures and institutions (such as banks, courts, and police force) to reinforce racism? How are those tactics still used today?
What was the impact of redlining? How did it influence public perceptions of black people and enable individual acts of racism? How did redlining institutionalize racially restrictive covenants across the United States?
How did lawmakers try to rectify the racial segregation of neighborhoods? What was the impact? How have racist practices continued to shift?
Historian Kirsten Delegard talks about how her white immigrant grandparents were able to buy houses and gain social mobility. How have different generations of white people benefitted from the exclusive access to homeownership and high property values provided by racial covenants and redlining?
Considering the Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protests the summer of 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd, How has hundreds of years of racialized segregation in housing created the racial disparities in Minneapolis, Minnesota today?
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