The Fifties On the downside, although a significant proportion of the first suburban residents were African-American families who had come North for job opportunities, planned communities quickly made it much easier to segregate people by race. Real estate agents colluded with mortgage lenders and home builders to make sure that buyers were steered to the 'appropriate' neighborhood; naturally, the newer, more modern homes were in the white neighborhoods. Sale contracts could even require that the buyer agree not to sell their home to a black purchaser, or allow a black person to live in the house except as an employee (read "maid"). Most whites didn't know that it was even happening — they generally assumed that blacks "liked to stick with their own," not realizing that black families were being forced to "stick with their own," and couldn't have bought their house even if they'd wanted to. • In fact, "blockbusting" was occasionally employed to open a community to black
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