Mapping the Segregation of Minneapolis

Properties with racial covenants (blue) form a partial ring around several  parks. Mapping Prejudice

Before it was torn apart by freeway construction in the middle of the 20th century, the Near North neighborhood in Minneapolis was home to the city’s largest concentration of African American families. That wasn’t by accident: As far back as the early 1900s, racially restrictive covenants on property deeds prevented African Americans and other minorities from buying homes in many other areas throughout the city.

In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such racial covenants were unenforceable. But the mark they made on America’s neighborhoods lived on, setting up patterns of segregation and housing inequality that still persist today. In Minneapolis, a group called Mapping Prejudice has documented and mapped roughly 30,000 racially restrictive covenants, just as the city begins to enact new zoning laws aimed at addressing its history of housing discrimination.

Read more at CityLab, where this story was originally published.

Author: Greg Miller

Greg is a science and technology journalist based in Portland, Oregon. Previously he was a senior writer at WIRED and a staff writer at Science. In addition to cartography, Greg has written extensively about neuroscience and other areas of biological, behavioral, and social science.

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