Lessons of Housing Desegregation—From the 1960s to Today

The New York Times mines historic footage and current research for perspective on the effects of housing segregation.

1 minute read

September 20, 2016, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Black Lives Matter

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A New York Times “Retro Report” examines segregation and public housing in 1960s United States in a piece titled “Where Does the American Dream Live?”

For the uninitiated, the Retro Report format mixes historic video footage with interviews from contemporary leaders and thinkers. In this case, Walter Cronkite introduces footage racial conflict while Henry Cisneros offer perspective.

Also, the report includes historic footage of Alex Polikoff, an ACLU lawyer who filed one of the first housing discrimination lawsuits, and contemporary footage of Polikoff looking back from the present day.

“Where Does the American Dream Live?” begins with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, explaining how events like the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. paved the way for the Gautreaux Project and the later Moving to Opportunity initiative. The recent unrest in cities like Ferguson, Baltimore, and Milwaukee is then tied to ongoing challenge of desegregating residential neighborhoods and the persistent difficulty of finding the answer posed by the question posed in the title of the report.

Monday, September 19, 2016 in The New York Times

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