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Toby SkilesIntroduction to Sociology 04/16/2018How Historical Redlining, Reverse Redlining, Gerrymandering has Affected African-American’sSocial Status“The term "redlining" was coined by sociologist James McKnight in the 1960s based on how lenders would literally draw a red line on a map around the neighborhoods they would not invest in based on demographics alone.” (Investopedia 1) Redlining is defined as in the United States, the practice of denying services, either directly or through selectively raising prices, to residents of certain areas based on the racial or ethnic composition of those areas. Terry Gross interviewed an author about how the United States government segregated America. She asked the author, Richard Rothstein, how federal agencies used redlining to segregate Americans and in which he replied:“The term "redlining" ... comes from the development by the New Deal, by the federal government of maps of every metropolitan area in the country. And those maps were color-coded by first the Home Owners Loan Corp. and then the Federal Housing Administration and then adopted by the Veterans Administration, and these color codes were designed to indicate where it was safe to insure mortgages. And anywhere where African-Americans lived, anywhere where African-Americans lived nearby were colored red to indicate to appraisers that these neighborhoods were too risky to insure mortgages.” (Rothstein 7)This has affected millions of Americans around the country via systematic segregation of the wealthy and the poor. In the same interview with the same author of the book, The Color of
Law, a book about the history of redlining in America and how it has influence on lawmaking theauthor talks about how African Americans were vastly up charged for homes simply because they were willing to pay more for said homes:“African-Americans tried to buy homes in all-white neighborhoods or in mostly white neighborhoods, property values rose because African-Americans were more willing to pay more for properties than whites were, simply because their housing supply was so restricted and they had so many fewer choices” (Rothstein 5)The first mass segregations of America started in 1947 when the building company Levitt& Sons began building single family houses in the country that sparked a new wave of migrationout of cities that would last for many years. In an article series about the history of cities around America, The Guardian’s article on Levittown’s defines them as:Levittown isn’t a single building but a development of more than 17,000 detached houses.The project – started in 1947 as America’s prototypical postwar planned community – has outlived its heartiest supporters and harshest detractors to stand today as something more complicated than a monument to the glory of the American dream, or to the blandness and conformity to which that dream led. (Marshall 1)Such blandness was found in the fact that every Levittown house was almost identical, from the shingles, grass, and fencing, and even down to the floorplan and plumbing.