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Undoing the American residential caste system

When millions of African Americans moved from the rural south to northern cities, exclusionary zoning and restrictive covenants worked to constrain their space. Over time, these practices evolved into lending discrimination and then into urban renewal projects that displaced Black communities.

Georgetown law professor Sheryll Cashin argues that geography is central to the American residential caste system, "The biggest myth in this country is that high opportunity living is earned and that ‘hood’ living is the deserved result of bad individual choices. It’s government systemic practices that created this landscape, that frankly, we’re all ensnared in."

Cashin’s latest book White Space, Black Hood.

Original air date: November 15, 2021.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is Senior Supervising Producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.