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Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in by David M. P. Freund

By David M. P. Freund

In "Colored Property", David M. P. Freund exhibits how federal intervention spurred a dramatic shift within the language and good judgment of racial integration in residential neighborhoods after global conflict II - clear of invocations of a legendary racial hierarchy and towards speak of markets, estate, and citizenship. Freund lines the emergence of a strong public-private alliance that facilitated postwar suburban progress around the country with federal courses that considerably favorite whites. Then, exhibiting how this nationwide tale performed out in metropolitan Detroit, he demonstrates how whites realized to view discrimination now not as an act of racism yet as a valid reaction to the wishes of the marketplace. Illuminating government's robust but still-hidden position within the segregation of U.S. towns, "Colored Property" provides a dramatic new imaginative and prescient of metropolitan development, segregation, and white id in sleek America.

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Additional resources for Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America (Historical Studies of Urban America)

Sample text

Whites’ The New Politics of Race and Property / 21 resistance to integration is often depicted as an understandable sort of reflex action, an attempt to defend their unique, insulated communities from the minorities who had supposedly destroyed the old neighborhood and now threatened the new one. 31 The story of whites’ exodus to suburban Detroit certainly supports important parts of this argument but also challenges one of its core assumptions: that the new suburban havens were always physically and architecturally distinct from the city that whites were leaving behind.

Peterson, project general chairman; Henry Fett, project vice chairman; E. M. Schafter, Royal Oak’s city manager; and George Zinkey, state director of the Federal Housing Administration. Reprinted with permission of The Daily Tribune, Royal Oak, Michigan. Photographed by Ken Music. new subdivisions—neighborhoods that resembled their own—rose up on land which had for years lain unimproved. The rapid disappearance of open space was most striking to long-time residents, many of whom had settled there decades earlier to farm or simply to enjoy a rural lifestyle.

This suggests that place, alone, did not determine whites’ views about race and residence. It suggests that the content of local politics played an equally important role in shaping ideas about the distinctiveness of any neighborhood that was populated by white people. No urban or suburban place is prototypical, and Detroit’s history made the region’s postwar expansion and politics unique. Most influential was the city’s dependence on and association with heavy industry. Detroit’s strategic location along regional trade routes and its proximity to iron ore and coal deposits enabled it to dominate early automobile production and to emerge by 1920 as the center of an extremely powerful national industry.

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