Research Bibliography Housing Segregation


 Fernandez-Kelly, Patricia. The Hero’s Fight: African Americans in West Baltimore and the Shadow of the State. Princeton University Press, 2015. Print.


Patricia Fernández-Kelly, a senior lecturer in sociology at Princeton University, looks at the underlying issues perpetuating poverty in urban America, using inner-city Baltimore as a test case. For 10 years, Fernandez-Kelly immersed herself in the lives of seven interlinked African-American residents, including a chauffeur turned cab driver; a convert to the Jehovah’s Witnesses who anchors her extended family; and an initially promising boy who instead becomes a drug dealer. Combining these biographical narratives with analysis, Fernández-Kelly explores a number of factors that lead to poverty, including a loss of social capital through de facto racial segregation, the disappearance of industrial jobs, and “bureaucratic interference.” Much of her research focuses on this last point, examining the ambiguous role of public agencies that view clients simultaneously “as hapless victims and conniving scoundrels,” effectively diminishing their autonomy and dignity. She concludes that U.S. policy amounts to a “criminalization of poverty,” urging new legislation that will foster “social inclusion and material accumulation.”


Massey, Douglas S, and Nancy A. Denton. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993. Print.


American Apartheid tells the story of how Black Americans were systematically discriminated against in the housing process, and how this discrimination led to the creation of ghettos and a racial underclass. What Massey and Denton argue is that social scientists have failed to take into account the role of racism and residential segregation in the income gap between Blacks and Whites. They analyze how housing segregation is still continued to this day and how it is compounded by disinvestment and racism. The book also explores the failure of U.S. policy to ameliorate these issues. Lastly, American Apartheid discusses how the elimination of residential segregation will only occur if the federal government, backed by the American people, guarantees open house markets and eliminates discrimination from public life.


Pietela, Antero. Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City. Chicago: Rowan & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2010. Print


Pietila provides a detailed history and background of Baltimore’s racial segregation through news articles provided by The Baltimore Sun. He explains how Blacks and Jews experienced racial discrimination when it came to buying homes. The author defines terms such as “blockbusting” and “white flight” to highlight the struggle Blacks and Jews experienced when trying to buy homes in white neighborhoods. Although Pietila does not openly express his opinion of racial housing discrimination, it is evident through his diction. In addition, he criticizes the early articles of The Sun , which was known for publishing articles supporting racial housing discrimination.


Bolt, Gideon, A. Sule Özüekren and Deborah Phillips. Linking Integration and Residential Segregation. London: Routledge, 2012. Print.

This book, written by Deborah Phillips, introduces the reader to how policy makers view racial segregation of minority groups in predominately white neighborhoods. The authors argue that a concentration of minorities in one neighborhood may do more harm than good since it is more likely to lead to more violence. In addition, historically, neighborhoods with a large population of Latinos or Blacks do not receive as much government funding and lack the same resources found in predominantly white neighborhoods. The authors also discuss integration versus segregation in the context of housing. Through extensive research, the authors discovered that integration or assimilation when it comes to housing differs among each ethnic group.




Scholarly Articles

 United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Office of Policy Development and Research. “Unequal Burden in Baltimore: Income and Racial Disparities in Subprime Lending”. Washington, D.C. 2000. Print.

A subprime loan is a type of loan that is offered at a rate above prime to individuals who do not qualify for prime rate loans. Quite often, subprime borrowers are often turned away from traditional lenders because of their low credit ratings or other factors that suggest that they have a reasonable chance of defaulting on the debt repayment. The growth in subprime lending over the last several years has been a beneficial development for borrowers with impaired or limited credit histories. Subprime lenders have allowed such borrowers to access credit that they could not otherwise obtain in the prime credit market. However, there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that a subset of these subprime lenders, who generally operate outside the federal regulatory structure, engage in abusive lending practices that strip borrowers’ home equity and place them at increased risk of foreclosure. This study presents a preliminary analysis of mortgage originations in the Baltimore metropolitan area in 1998 using data reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Nationwide, the HMDA data demonstrate the rapid growth of subprime refinance lending during the 1990s and further, the disproportionate concentration of such lending in the nation’s low-income and minority neighborhoods, like Baltimore.


Lareau, Annette, and Kimberly Goyette. Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2014. Print.


Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools presents a breakthrough analysis of the new era of school choice, and what it predicts for American neighborhoods. It investigates the complex relationship between education, neighborhood social networks, and larger patterns of inequality. Paul Jargowsky reviews recent trends in segregation by race and class. His analysis shows that segregation between blacks and whites has declined since 1970, but remains extremely high. Moreover, white families with children are less likely than childless whites to live in neighborhoods with more minority residents. In her chapter, Annette Lareau draws on interviews with parents in three suburban neighborhoods to analyze school-choice decisions. Surprisingly, she finds that middle- and upper-class parents in suburban neighborhoods do not rely on active research, such as school tours or test scores. Instead, most simply trust advice from friends and other people in their network. Their decision-making process was largely informal and passive. Eliot Weinginer complements this research when he draws from his data on urban parents. He finds that these families worry endlessly about the selection of a school, and that parents of all backgrounds actively consider alternatives, including charter schools. Middle- and upper-class parents in urban neighborhoods relied more on federally mandated report cards, district websites, and online forums, while working-class parents use network contacts to gain information on school quality. Little previous research has explored what role school concerns play in the preferences of white and minority parents for particular neighborhoods.


Larkin, Brian Patrick. “The Forty-year “first Step”: The Fair Housing Act as an Incomplete Tool for Suburban Integration”. Columbia Law Review 107.7 (2007): 1617–1654. Web.

Larkin analyzes why the Fair Housing Act has not produced fully integrated suburbs and metropolitan areas. His argument is that the FHA should be understood as the entryway that other, not yet created federal policies ought supplement. Specifically, the FHA was meant as a tool for middle class black families to have access to suburban neighborhoods. Urban development and integration were left for future. Larkin also argues that integration is limited by the ability of home buyer’s to continue to segregate. Whites segregate due to racist perceptions over black neighbors while blacks might also prefer entirely black neighborhoods for their own cultural identity and out of fatigue from dealing with racism.

Trifun, Natasha M. “Residential Segregation After The Fair Housing Act.” Human Rights 36.4 (2009): 14-19. Academic Search Complete. Web.

Trifun’s article offers an overview of the conditions that produced residential segregation and then the responsive Fair Housing Act. She then moves to further analyze the deficits in the FHA that have continued residential segregation. One problem she points to is geographical steering in which white prospective buyers are often showed houses in predominantly white neighborhoods and so on with other identity categories. Trifun also highlights certain disadvantages to segregation such as local environmental issues stemming from nearby industrial presence, lack of infrastructure due to disinvestment, and increased subprime lending due to continued racial discrimination.

 Rothstein, Richard. “From Ferguson to Baltimore: The Fruits of Government-Sponsored Segregation.” Economic Policy Institute. 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.

This article describes local and federal government tactics that were used to prevent African Americans from purchasing homes in white neighborhoods during the 20th century. Dating as far back as 1910, these tactics were used as methods to maintain residential segregation in cities such as Baltimore and make the home-purchasing process very difficult for black Americans. From citing anyone who sold houses to blacks in predominantly white neighborhoods to urging property owners to sign covenants that restricted them from selling to African Americans, the government played a considerable role in enforcing the segregation of blacks and whites in neighborhoods. Measures that were taken to counter residential segregation–such as the establishment of ordinances that denied federal funding for urban development projects that resisted integration–were eventually shut down, leaving no remaining solutions for inner-city problems. This article brings forward historical evidence of the government’s involvement in the maintenance of residential segregation and its role in making decisions that still affect African-Americans living in inner cities today.




 Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story. Dir. Bill Kavanagh. Kavanagh Productions, 2007. DVD.


Yonkers in the 1980s was typical of many American cities in its pattern of housing and school segregation. Real estate agents steered African-Americans to all-black neighborhoods and brought whites to other, more exclusive districts. Spurred by the local NAACP, the Justice Department ordered the City of Yonkers to integrate—a charge the City Council refused to comply with, defiantly taking its case all the way to the Supreme Court. Narrating the passionate experiences of Yonkers residents on both sides of the issue, this program tracks United States v. City of Yonkers, the landmark Supreme Court decision that challenged and eventually dismantled segregation in the North.



News Articles

 How Racism Doomed Baltimore.” The New York Times. May 9, 2015. Accessed November 24, 2015.


This New York times article examines why the Baltimore uprisings took place. In the article they look closely on residential segregation and how the hyper-segregation in Baltimore hurts young adults chances of escaping poverty. The article examines the way in which residential segregation was deliberate and created by Maryland policy makers. The article articulates that the uprisings should not have been a surprise because of way that policy makers treated and valued black residents.


How Some Baltimore Neighborhoods Reflect Segregation’s Legacy.” Accessed November 24, 2015.


This article is a transcript of Richard Rothstein from the Economic Policy Institute. In it he is talking about how policy and economic segregation has led to the causes of unrest in Baltimore. He explains how the New Deal was not really made for African Americans, and that the suburbs were prohibited from blacks when it was affordable. The article relates this discrimination to the unrest in Baltimore.

Has America Given Up on the Dream of Racial Integration [Semuels, Alana. “Has America Given Up on the Dream of Racial Integration?” Atlantic 19 June 2015. Web.]

This article describes a host of issues that plague the struggle for fair-housing by focusing on the city of Beaumont, Texas. Residents who live on the North End, the historically and majority black part of town, face worse living conditions, constant industrialization and poor schools. Despite the obvious inequities, the powers-that-be in the housing department in the area refuse to construct affordable and low income housing in the wealthy and white West End of town. Community members of the West End believe and are relatively open about their distaste of black citizens, going so far as to deny even a law office staffed by a black man from opening in the area due to a fear of “pimps and thugs.” This article distills much of the racism present in housing into one relatable and still developing case.


Supreme Court vs. Neighborhood Segregation, The Atlantic. [Semuels, Alana. “Supreme Court vs. Neighborhood Segregation.” Atlantic 25 June 2015. Web.]

This article examines how the SCOTUS recently handed down a decision that puts further power into the hands of activists and legal groups looking to challenge residential segregation. By recognizing that “disparate impact claims” constitute violations of the Fair Housing Act, the Supreme Court allowed a number of challenges to be brought against the housing authority of cities and towns that have not done enough to make sure that distributed tax credits and other forms of incentive for development are done equally. Thus, a city in Texas could be brought to trial for giving credit to programs that continued to segregate minorities. By looking at the way that local housing authorities monetarily lead to further disparate impact and challenging it legally, more progress can be made to desegregate.


Puente, Mark. “Class-action Status Sought in Lawsuit against Baltimore Housing Authority.” The Baltimore Sun. 13 Nov. 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.

This article uncovers the corruption that exists in Baltimore’s housing system. According to the article, female tenants of the Gilmor Homes, Westport, and Govans Manor housing units in Baltimore came together to file a class-action lawsuit against the Housing Authority of Baltimore City because maintenance workers allegedly requested sexual favors in the exchange of household repairs. The article discusses how many women–some who were too afraid to step forward–experienced sexual harassment and assault from workers of the city in order to have basic household items repaired. Although these women reported these sexual advances to housing authorities, very little was done to resolve the situation. Frustrated by the indifference of authorities, these women sought legal action to bring the misconduct of housing employees to light and receive compensation for the incidents they have suffered.