Contradictions in the fair housing movement

Seen in the The Journal of Urban History: an article about contradictory ideologies in the fair housing movement, by NCRC senior policy advisor Nichole Nelson.

“While the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing (NCDH) supported ending racial discrimination in the housing market by lobbying for state and local fair housing laws and the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, it also vigorously campaigned against reinvesting in African American communities. NCDH leadership justified this seemingly contradictory ideology by explaining their belief, that it was pointless to “gild the ghetto” because white supremacy created deteriorating conditions in African American communities that reinvestment could not cure. Thus, the NCDH believed that the only way for African Americans to access decent housing was to move to white neighborhoods. In doing so, they underscored the limitations of their commitment to ending white supremacy in the housing market, which upheld racism in the Fair Housing Movement.


By the late 1960s, local Black Power activists wanted to ensure that integration did not occur at the expense of Black homebuyers’ and residents’ comfort, safety, and well-being. They symbolically rejected an older concept of integration that “permitted Negroes to come in out of the cold if they weren’t too noisy . . . and didn’t all come in at the same time.” The newer model of integration that began to take shape envisioned Black Power as not necessarily “anti-integration” and instead reimagined African Americans negotiating their commitment to integration “from a position of strength.”


Read the full article here: https://journals.sagepub.com/stoken/default+domain/PYVPNBET85NFYQNVFGUM/full 

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