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Race and Housing in the Postwar City: - page 2 / 23

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In the largest sense, persistent residential

segregation

remained at the heart of postwar urban

migration to the tional housing.

central cities produced Consequently, newer

change intense "second

and conflict. Black demands for addi­ ghettos" sprouted

across urban America, as blacks pushed out ment areas. Second ghetto development "turnover" of white residential communities massive and densely packed public housing

of their original settle­ was marked by the and the construction of projects.2 Through the

use of restrictive covenants Americans, a practice that

that prohibited was especially

sale of property to African common in Chicago, the

real estate industry played an important role in the color line in urban housing. In many places, ern cities, the practice of racial zoning divided

the maintenance of especially in south­ up urban space in

such tant,

a way as to keep blacks and the discriminatory practices

whites separated. Equally impor­ of mortgage bankers and property

insurers limited black housing options. Court decisions and shifts between the 1940s and the 1960s increasingly outlawed cumscribed long-established discriminatory practices in the

policy or cir­ urban

housing

market,

but somehow

seemed

immune

to change. As

housing segregation sociologists Douglas

persisted S. Massey

and and

Nancy A. Apartheid:

Denton have Segregation and

noted in their powerful book, American the Making of the Underclass (1993), "racial

segregation became a permanent organization of American cities in

structural feature of the spatial the years after World War II."3

Patterns of Postwar Urban Change

In retrospect, the war years between 1941 and 1945 set the stage for later transformations. Millions of Americans shuttled around the nation for military training and military service. More than five million rural dwellers pursued wartime job opportunities in urban-based defense industries. For instance, over 500,000 people moved to the San Francisco Bay area between 1940 and 1945 for ship­ building and other defense work; at least that many moved to the Los Angeles area for work in military aircraft factories and other defense production. About 100,000 newcomers, almost half of them African

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