Medium – KnockLA: Digging Up White Roots: An Unsolved Murder in Long Beach Reveals Suburbia’s Long History of Racism

Medium – KnockLA, August 4, 2020: Digging Up White Roots: An Unsolved Murder in Long Beach Reveals Suburbia’s Long History of Racism

The Taft family was attending their annual family reunion on Saturday, July 21, 2018. About 40–50 family members, mostly Black, came together at Pan American Park in the Lakewood Village neighborhood of Long Beach.

Frederick Taft, a 57-year-old Black man described by family as big-hearted and willing to help anyone in need, was at the reunion. At around 4:00 pm he walked over to the public restroom. He never returned.

Taft was murdered in the bathroomHe was shot nine times; his phone and wallet were not stolen. Witnesses saw a middle-aged white man with a rifle leave the bathroom.

Four months after his death, the Long Beach Police Department released a sketch of the suspect and a reward for information leading to his capture. The Taft family has demanded more action from the police. As of publishing time, Taft’s murderer is still on the loose.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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