The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

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New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors’ Choice Selection
One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year
One of
Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction
Gold Winner • California Book Award (Nonfiction)
Finalist •
Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)
Finalist • Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize

This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).

Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past. 13 illustrations

Specification: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

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80 reviews for The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

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  1. Rene’

    Very informative book. Should be required reading for students of history, African American studies and political science. Too bad most people don’t have this information but most wouldn’t believe it.

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  2. Ashley

    Very awakening. It throuroghly explains why some neighborhoods are segragated in America .

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  3. Jordan G.

    As someone who ignorantly believed in “de facto” segregation, “The Color of Law” proves racial seperation was no accident. Throughout the book, Rothstein provides examples of segregationist policies, most notably of which was the FHA’s refusal to insure loans that would be used to build integrated housing projects. In addition, Rothstein documents the widespread nature of residential contracts that prevented suburban homeowners from selling their houses to non-caucasians. As a solution, the author argues to “subsidize homeownership for African Americans in suburbs” and “repeal exclusionary zoning ordinances that prevent the construction of affordable homes in suburbs.” Overall, “The Color of Law” proves the “de jure” nature of modern segregation.

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  4. Ataa

    An in depth understanding of the “systemic” history they is often referenced in sound bites but rarely discussed in daily media/social interactions. It is clear we have long-standing issues on this country that will take equally long-standing efforts to correct. Hopefully, as we continue to honestly address these issues, we will move closer to permanent solutions.

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  5. D Williams

    This book was a great read. Although it did anger me as an African American woman, it gave me the knowledge I did not receive in school and sense. This book gives great detail of how our government constructed the segregation problems we have today. As I sat back and read, I could not help but read it and get a little bit verbal because many of the things Mr. Rothstein wrote about you can actually see being done today! Downtown areas of urban cities are being “revitalized”. These areas are being built up for Caucasians and African Americans are forced to move further back. The transit problem he writes about speaks very loud and clear to me because this is exactly what is going on in my city. I live in a suburb of a major city and available jobs are everywhere, however in order to get to these jobs, you need to have some form of transportation via a vehicle or transit authority to get to and maintain these jobs. Not having a regional transit authority to allow people access to these available jobs will keep African Americans in the situations many have found themselves to be in. This book should be required reading in schools, including colleges and universities. Personally, I don’t think what Mr. Rothstein was forgotten, after reading this book, and listening to several of his talks via Youtube, I honestly feel this information was suppressed. Now, it’s up to all of us to peel each layer of this onion call discrimination, segregation and everything encompassed by it and get to the heart of the matter.

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  6. NinaNina

    I found this at Barnes & Nobles on their top sellers book table. It immediately caught my attention and I bought it. I wasn’t really sure what it would be like but I knew I was going to learn something at least. I wanted to educate myself.To note, I am a white woman in her 30s and was never taught or exposed to enough education regarding America’s segregation history and all the factors that played into it, even in school. This book is so informative and has so much factual information that ANYONE can educate themselves and learn from it.At the very least, this will hopefully teach people the truths and realities regarding this subject matter vs what society has incorrectly repeated over generations, creating misconceptions and lies.I will recommend to anyone.

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  7. MA

    This book is well researched and provides sources for the claims. It really does a good job of exposing how “de facto” segregation in the USA was not accidental but orchestrated at local, state, and federal levels well into the 1960s. This book does an excellent job of exposing how wealth was systematically kept from minorities, especially African American communities on a national level and how that was done as Government policy. Every American should know these facts. So many people are completely ignorant about this history (recent history) and how it has setup the current inequity.

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  8. Amazon Customer

    this book is a must read for those who want to understand the meaning of critical race theory {CRT}. I highly recommend reading for information and understanding of government’s role in supporting and enabling the harmful divisions and inequities that plague communities and people today.

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  9. Hiram Nkrumah Johnson

    As an African American who has attained middle class via the military, I was oblivious to how my fellow African Americans appeared stuck in their current circumstance. This book connected dots I did not know existed. All I could think of while reading this book were the words of ‘Killing Me Softly’ as Mr. Rothstein was ‘strumming my pain with his fingers and singing my life with his words’. He accurately described how my grandparents were forced to live in Overtown in Miami, and how my father, who served in the segregated Navy couldn’t take advantage of VA loans when he returned from the Pacific. Mr. Rothstein described how highway 95 forced the destruction of Overtown, a little later on. There were so many other dots connected that I felt like I was asleep for the 60 years of my life. This book will be required reading for this household. Well done Mr. Rothstein. I am enlightened. – Hiram Johnson

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  10. Moderator

    This This book comes with the highest recommendations! The reader can clearly see and understand how the Constitution of the United States do not protect its people. Those who are oppressed Are the only ones who can protect and progress themselves through constant perseverance to fight for that which is deemed important for growth. The oppressed in this book are the African-Americans. The achievements and success of those bodies of peoples are remarkable primarily because of the obstacles that the oppressed had to face and still have to face today!

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  11. Audrey Gamez

    Rothsteins book is a must read for anyone trying to understand wealth inequality, segregation, racist housing policy, and urban policymaking in the U.S. It perfectly lays out how the federal government shaped and sanctioned policy that led to these outcomes with full knowledge and intent of denying opportunity to Black Americans.

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  12. Red Scofield

    It’s a must read. That’s it. You must read this. It is depressing and heart wrenching and all sorts of messed up. And it’s all true. If you aim to be a better ally, a student of history and racism in this country, or just a fellow human being, please read this book. And the give it to someone else. I’m not sure that’s what the publisher would recommend, but I like to think the author would.Knowledge is power.

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  13. Nancy Cole

    This book was enlightening and painful at the same time. As a white middle class woman, I’ve lived a sheltered life. Nothing I’ve read in high school or college even hinted at the widespread and deliberate efforts of our government and its agencies to keep Black people “in their place. ” This book is a wakeup call and should be read by anyone who wants to understand why so many Black people are protesting today.

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  14. SwamiMami

    I’ve only read the first chapter so far, and I LOVE this book. I advocate for affordable housing and racial equity, and this is exactly how those two issues come together. A great primer for why #housingsegregationineverything (CodeSwitch shout out) is a thing. I saw the author speak recently and have been quite impressed with his commitment to putting the truth out there about how this history affects our communities today. Can’t wait to finish it; if I discover anything important I’ll update my review. I highly recommend reading this or gifting it to someone who needs to understand the intersectionality of systemic racism and housing.

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  15. Luke Kasi

    I heard this book while listening to NPR and I purchased so I can educate myself as to the historical perspective of how American socio-economic differences have been achieved.I am currently working in the credit analysis area and it was an eye opining for me that the US Government was in-fact institutionalizing discrimination by not insuring (such as the FHA) or not guaranteeing (such as the Veteran’s Administration (VA) ) mortgage loans if the builder or the lender was selling to African-Americans (AA). As a result of this, AA were unable to find descent housing, build equity, raise their children in nice neighborhoods, and pass on the houses to their off-springs. Read the AAs auto workers who couldn’t purchase homes near the auto factory they worked in San Fran area and they had to purchase home in an hour-drive area and commute to work everyday for 30 years.I cannot even imagine how AA GIs, who put their lives on the line for their country, felt after they found out that they cannot purchase homes because the US Govt. (through VA) wouldn’t guarantee the mortgage loans and were specifically excluding AA through the use of “Restrictive Covenant.”As an immigrant who has done well in American, I am very thankful to America’s bounty of welcoming immigrants and cannot attribute discrimination to the people of America, but the US Govt. was guilty or culpable of a gross discrimination.I always thought that it was a societal choice that resulted in the current socio-economic conditions of America and I believe individual choices do matter, but they are small part and the government-imposed racial discrimination is the culprit of the gaping socio-economic conditions.

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  16. BenSahn

    Great research and analysis of a critical issue. Easy to read and understand. It explains much about the current state of the country. I consider this book essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the current housing patterns and racial wealth gap in the United States.

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  17. rachindc

    This is such an incredibly important book. Buy it, read it, and talk about it with everyone you know. The author carefully sets forth in painstaking detail every policy and practice of the federal and local governments that led to the historical exclusion of blacks from homeownership and residence in integrated communities. Never has a more compelling case been made that segregation is not an accident of history; it is born of deliberate and conscious policy decisions made over centuries. Neither this book nor this review is meant to guilt anybody, but I am a firm believer that we have to be informed about our nation’s dark (and in some cases, recent) history. We must understand this history if we are to remedy its effects.

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  18. Angela M. Hey

    As an immigrant to the USA I was quite shocked to read this book. In 1981, I wanted to buy my first house in New Jersey – I read a book that said you need 4 realtors as each will like their own kind of house and you can ask them for different types of houses. I knew I could get an FHA loan, so for one realtor I asked to look at houses for professional working women. She showed me a split-level house. I then found a similar house in a cheaper neighborhood and asked if I could look at it with her – we drove to the house but she said it was in a black neighborhood and that was why it was cheap and she didn’t recommend going inside and took me to a white neighborhood. I found this bizarre as I had shared a rental flat in a Jamaican immigrant neighborhood in London before coming to the US.Fast-forward to today where I live in California and know many of the neighborhoods described in this book. To think that they banned black people from living there because it would reduce house prices is shocking. Read this book and you will learn about government policies, realtors’ biases and discrimination against black home buyers.It is a well-researched book that is very much worth reading.

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  19. David MacDougall

    This book tells the true story of how federal, state and local governments required or encouraged segregation in housing. It will change the way you view segregation.

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  20. Ozzie

    A very good account of how systemic racism has developed and thrived in the United States. For those individuals who are arguing over the instruction of critical race theory in our public schools, you should read this book. I found the book to be an eye-opening experience.

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  21. Thor-Zine

    Finally, somebody takes the time to confirm what many of us had always suspected, that is was the law that prevented integration. I grew up one of the all black communities the author talked about. Made up of temporary housing left over the WW2. My Father a returning war vet, tried, again and again, to get a VA loan to get a house the only places where the houses were, the white communities where he watched white vets get their loans and move out years before. Finally my parents saved their money and checked out several places (By then fair housing was the law in California but it did nothing about federal law forbidding financing), they found a white owner not only willing to sell but loaned them part of the down payment (this was in the mid 60’s, 20 years after the end of WW2). Not only did that owner catch flack but the other white neighbors were not happy with us moving in, one of whom was an officer…in the German army during the war(so an African-American vet can’t move into a neighborhood that a former enemy can – just because he’s white?).We were “lucky” there was no violence, many neighbors just ostracized us, and a few wanted to buy us out. Other Black families who moved out found themselves all put into the same block. Imagine in the 60’s in an era where there was no internet, faxes, bulletin boards, nor large realtors like Century 21. Realtors were all local, and territorial and yet they all decided to forgo competition and agreed to block place all the black families in one block where they can be “monitored”.Every time I hear someone spread that myth “Oh Black people don’t want to move into white neighborhoods because they love being among their own” I straighten them out, African Americans never had a choice!

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  22. bill steigerwald

    Rothstein’s book is a damning survey of the federal, state and local governments that created, enforced and perpetuated racial segregation with their openly racist policies and rules from the 1920s to 1960s. It’s as clear and well-written as it is persuasive.”In some cities, the government provided war housing only for whites, leaving African Americans in congested slums and restricting their access to jobs. In other cities, like Richmond (California), war housing was created for African American workers as well, but it was segregated. By the war’s end, the Lanham Act had combined with PWA and USHA programs to create or solidify residential racial segregation in every metropolitan area they had touched. When construction of civilian public housing resumed, it continued to promote segregation. Local governments, with federal support, were responsible for its racial character. Segregation violated constitutional rights whether it was federal, state, or local government that insisted upon it. The examples that follow— from the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific Coast— reflect a racial design that prevailed throughout the country during the war and its aftermath.”The New Deal’s housing projects in Chicago, Detroit and elsewhere were a lousy deal if you were not white, but Rothstein’s indictment is fair and balanced:”It would be going too far to suggest that cities like these would have evolved into integrated metropolises were it not for New Deal public housing. But it is also the case that the federal government’s housing rules pushed these cities into a more rigid segregation than otherwise would have existed. The biracial character of many neighborhoods presented opportunities for different futures than the segregated ones that now seem so unexceptional. Yet those opportunities were never seized.”Rothstein modestly suggests a number of “remedies” to compensate for the financial losses and missed educational opportunities their kids suffered because they were deliberately forced by discriminatory federal government housing and lending policies and local laws to live in segregated low-income city neighborhoods. He puts too much faith in governments to fix the things they broke, and doesn’t include instantly empowering market-oriented weapons like school vouchers, which would help black parents get their kids out of failed urban public schools. His book’s great value comes from showing readers that it was deliberate government policies, not private choices or voluntary social forces, that created, enforced and perpetuated racial segregation in the North for nearly a hundred years. I wish I had been able to read this book last year when I was writing 

    30 Days a Black Man: The Forgotten Story That Exposed the Jim Crow South

    ,’ which only touches lightly on how Northern cities like Pittsburgh, Portland and Washington, D.C., kept their neighborhoods rigidly segregated.

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  23. Kindle Customer

    This, for me, was an eye opening book on what systemic racism looks like. The more I read, the more uncomfortable and angry I became at how our government bought into racist views and policies. A prime example is the explicit denial of loans to black Americans (including veterans) by both the FHA and VA! As a child in the San Francisco Bay Area I watched Daly City, Westlake, Milpitas, etc. being built after WW2. I did not know until I read this book, that Black people were ineligible, only by virtue of their color, for housing loans! And this was true throughout the United States! I highly recommend this book. recommend

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  24. Hot Rod

    The Color of Law more than lived up to its advance billing. The information provided is startling! I assumed that de facto segregation was the bigger problem when it came to housing inequities but the role of policy makers is much bigger. The epilogue brings together several reasons systemic racism and de jure segregation is the huge issue when it is revealed that redlining, restrictive covenants, HOAs, FHA, IRS, and more broadly, the federal government all are elements that keep African Americans in their place. Policy makers, in deciding where by passes, “dirty” manufacturing, supermarkets, etc. will go decide boundaries for Blacks and Whites. It is an ugly picture. To top it off Chief Justice Roberts and his colleagues make incorrect assumptions about the cause of limited housing opportunities — “…residential segregation is a product of private choices”. The Court therefore sees no reason to intervene despite the significant intervention of the federal government to assure the racist status quo!

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  25. Kindle Customer Smith

    It was informative, and used for education

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  26. ArikB

    This book is so informative on how government, state and local policy imposed segregated housing on African Americans unfairly. Policies enacted on purpose to deny Blacks home ownership and the freedom to find housing wherever they desired have resulted in the living conditions we see today. The wickedness of some of the people who instituted these policies had me angered and sometimes near tears. There is a concrete and documented reason for why the ‘hood is the ‘hood. This information is something that should be inserted in our educational curriculum at a minimum at the high school level. This is a key contribution to the wealth gap between blacks and whites which has been instituted by institutions like the FHA in the early 20th century.

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  27. doc peterson

    America, it seems, it finally beginning to recognize the depth, breadth and extent to which organizations from the federal government on down to local neighborhood associations have intentionally segregated neighborhoods – literally the definition of “institutions” and “racism”. This uncomfortable and incontrovertable realization is no doubt hard for white Americans to face. It is past time we do so.As a Portlander, I am intimately familiar with red-lining (whereby banks coordinated to only give loans for Black-owned businesses within a certain area of the city and where city leadership sought to create racially homogenous neighborhoods.) Not surprisingly, Portland isn’t the only city in the nation that did this. It was surprising that these kinds of policies were so ubiquitous and done with the approval of the federal government and were upheld in numerous court decisions.Rothstein shows in painful detail how it wasn’t just local and neighborhood policies, but federal policies and explicit instructions that actively sought to prevent the integration of neighborhoods or that put obstacles in front of African-Americans (and Latinos and Jews) from home-ownership, and by extension preventing these groups from building equity and passing on inter-generational wealth. That these polices were done intentionally is insidious – but I’d wager the extent to which this was done is something the majority of white Americans are hitert0 blissfully unaware of. It is past time this is brought to light, hence the glowing review.That said, the depth of Rothstein’s analysis is dense, as much of his scholarship is focused on case law. I found this difficult to easily digest. On the balance, however, the information is of such importance and relevance that as burdensome as the legal wrangling may be, it warrants five stars. Highly recommended reading.

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  28. Amazon Customer

    If you want to TRULY understand redlining, housing segregation and the state’s role in creating urbanized ethnic slums – their effects on black and poor people and clear cut remedies to the issue – THIS IS THE BOOK! This one is canon.

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  29. Jaque

    All these times, I had blamed Southern Whites for the ills of African-Americans until I read this book. It is a revelation that most liberal cities, people and Presidents were also responsible for the segregation along with the conservative Southern Whites. If you are a liberal, libertarian, progressive, socialist or centrists, you have to read this book.I urge the experts of law to think hard if a Class Action Law Suit is possible by the African-Americans to get compensation from the Federal, State and City governments, Banks and Insurance Companies. The compensation could reach 100’s of Billion dollars or more.

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  30. TK Rose

    Very informative!

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  31. newdaydawning

    One of my goals is to further understand what the government and we, as Caucasian people, historically did to create the income/housing disparity between races in America. This book gives a great history on the government side. So much could have been done better and differently. We need to figure out ways to close the gap. We all deserve better.

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  32. Nikki66122

    I cried when reading many chapters in this book. I am a 61 year old Black American woman. As a child growing up in the 60s I did not understand why we were living where we lived, a overcrowded ghetto in Upstate NY. My dad was a hard worker in the construction industry and my mom was a homemaker. My dad came home many days frustrated and torn over getting beat out by less qualified whites in construction jobs. Reading this book was heartbreaking for me as well as eye opening. I am a direct descendant of Georgia and Alabama born slaves. As a child we lived in some of the most impoverished conditions. My dad worked hard to get us out. He was finally able to buy a house in the city in a better neighborhood. I cried because the country that I Iove purposely continued to assist in my families pain and degradation. I am now a 25 yr. homeowner in that same community and it’s now 2020 and attempts are being made to gentrify my neighborhood. Thank you Mr. Rothstein for this book. It opened my eyes even more on understanding that the very government’s that my mom and dad paid taxes to, considered them low caste citizens.

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  33. Kumari

    Based on the title I bought this book thinking it would be about incarcerations. I have been curious about that issue, but 4 chapters in it’s been about housing, although I can’t rightly say it isn’t about incarceration. Why? Because once you read this book you will be able to connect the dots on Everything about segregation and unfair politics in America.For every person who ever asked me why black people “like” to live in ghettos,(a very upsetting question) I can now explain those areas weren’t “ghettos” when people of color moved in, they were neighborhoods, which BECAME ghettoized due to Federal and local zoning laws. Soft segregation became rigid segregation under the leadership of our government – not some fringe groups.Personally I am not white and I am not black, I am mixed from two races neither of which is white nor black, and from the sidelines I have noticed that many white Americans are disinterested in learning their history. They have a confirmation bias towards internet rumors and stories that match what they already believe. They have a narrative that benefits them, believing people of color don’t want to live near whites. They act like we like to live in neighborhoods that have no trash pick up, no snow plowing, no parks or playgrounds, hospitals or schools.That’s too bad. I wish they would read this book. But this book isn’t just for them, it’s interesting for Everyone. Everyone who lives in this country should make an attempt to understand this country and how we got here because we are perilously close to reinventing Jim Crow, this time with a wider net – one that excludes all people of color including anyone of mixed race

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  34. greytfriend

    The most important book I’ve read about structural racism in America. If you have any desire to understand the wealth gap and how it happened and how to fix it, read this book. Exhaustive details. This isn’t about presumed anything, this is fact after fact after fact, all undeniable. Overwhelming evidence of structural racism executed by local, state and national government. And unofficial action carried out by communities and neighbors. Profoundly disturbing. Should be required reading for all American. MUST be taught in schools!This books is still tied with Stamped from the Beginning as the most important books I’ve read in the last few years. They are the most infuriating and informative about things that every American should know but few White people do.The FAQ section in the back was a great idea. Good discussions.

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  35. Amazon Customer

    Superbly written, clear as a bell, the multiple truths told here are deeply disturbing and a call to action. Only by acknowledging the central tenet of this book, that segregation was and is caused by government actions and law, can we hope to move forward to a more equitable society.

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  36. AC Coleman

    The sad truth in this book is jaw dropping. I could only take it in doses. We must know our history in order to not repeat it, but also to correct the damage and undo the policies still in place.

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  37. Dalton O

    Wow. This book was just… wow. Incredibly insightful. First off, it’s called ‘The Color of Law,’ but it deals specifically with the geographical segregation of black and white America, not just systemic sociopolitical segregation. I was expecting something more akin to The New Jim Crow where it delves deeply into a wide array of legal systems that keep people oppressed, but this book is very localized to geographical/location based segregation and real estate discrimination. It’s still fascinating, I just wasn’t expecting it.That being said, I truly don’t think this book could accurately cover each topic adequately if it tried to research other subjects, with how expansive the history of segregated real estate is. The author goes into great detail, starting at the very beginning (though focusing a lot on mid-century to early 2000s) on how the government has structured its states and localities in such a way that prevents comingling and integration. He addresses each and every facet of this issue in depth- from natural migration, zoning law, discriminatory practices, deed provisions, and more. He uses a combination of objective law discussion and illustrative examples of these laws in practice with interviews of the people who dealt with them. It’s an in-depth book, and my only complaint is there wasn’t more, because I really feel like he could have gone into even more detail, and shared even more examples. But even so, it was a really insightful book and a quick read. The language is easy to digest, and it doesn’t take long to click in with the legal jargon. Definitely a must read for those curious about institutionalized racism and how it came to be.

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  38. M.A. Curtis

    It was a good explanation of the history and practices of segregation in the nation. It also gave good examples of how the past practices could be rectified but too much has been invested in segregated practices to keep African Americans as poor and underclass second class citizens. An underclass is needed to keep a capitalist nation strong.

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  39. Joe Conway (he, him, his)Joe Conway (he, him, his)

    BOOK REVIEW: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard RothsteinI was blown away by the book and the phenomenal research that went into it. The bottom line is that our federal, state, and local governments played a major role in legislating and sanctioning American segregation. Churches, universities, law enforcement, and the courts ALL upheld blatant violation of the 13th (1865), 14th (1868), and 15th (1870) Amendments of the United States Constitution. The book is an indictment of the role that each of these agencies of segregation played with a specific focus on housing.Why housing? Housing has played a major role in building wealth in this country. Housing plays a role in the education one receives, the job opportunities one might get, and the wealth one can pass on to progeny. Housing served as a means of integration. Integration that would have been deemed normal by the time the 1920s rolled around in a post 15th Amendment ratification era. But this was not the story of America. From the interference of racial covenants to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) only approving, issuing, and insuring loans for developers and owners for White-only properties, Blacks would never experience the full impact of homeownership and all the benefits attached to the way their White counterparts would and did. Banks, like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and many others also would not approve loans for Blacks or would charge rates much higher than their Whites even when risk was equivalent.Chapters of this book paint a picture and help define terms used today. Every real estate agent, developer, city planning office, city councilperson, county commissioner, mayor, etc. etc. should read this book. I don’t even think people should talk about reparations without reading and understanding the information in this book and many other revealing authors who have uncovered American History most of us have never heard before.In short, we were all duped to some level. White fear was played on the most. Even if Whites did not believe and were against what was happening, eventually they paid through public shame, loss of property, damaged property, death threats, and some lost their lives if they stood by their Black brothers and sisters. Some Whites were even sued and jailed for renting to Blacks and other minorities. Ultimately, however, Blacks paid the highest price through generational poverty, abuse, and death carefully crafted by a system that was supposed to protect them through Constitutional rights.You will learn about the difference between “de facto segregation” and “de jure segregation.”What blew me away the most was the role of the Church. I have commented in many of my book reviews on Christianity or the Church and this shall be no different, especially as I see most churches still do nothing today or they struggle in how to address the issue. Bob Jones University is specifically mentioned in the book. The case of “Bob Jones University vs the United States” in 1983 where the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 1976 IRS decision and concluded that “an institution seeking tax-exempt status must serve a public purpose and not be contrary to establish public policy.” In other words, the university had to give up their practice of “NOT allowing interracial dating by its students.” The bottom line to all industries that receive some form of a government benefit through tax-exemptions, subsidies, grants, etc. is that they CAN NOT discriminate as to whom they will serve nor place discriminatory requirements upon people (taxpayers) that utilize their services. If they do, and the evidence shows they do, they put their government-assisted business at risk.I believe in the American Dream. I believe that people can and should choose and define for themselves the life that they’d like to live within the parameters of our laws. However, I do not believe anyone should get any kind of assistance from my tax dollars (i.e. the government) to discriminate against another person. Our government should reinforce structures and systems that make it difficult for those that receive a government benefit to discriminate. They should be penalized if caught and the data shows it to be a proven fact. And it should take years! This book provides plenty of those proven facts and requires an answer from our elected officials, law enforcement agencies, courts, churches, and education bodies.I highly recommend this read. It will blow your mind at how carefully segregation was crafted, maintained, and exercised. Even today, some of the same “code-switching” language is used to continue some forms of discrimination based on the old system under which it was established. This book will help you recognize some of that language, but not all.To Blacks and minorities I will say this, get in a position to own a home or property. Save up for it! Make the necessary sacrifices. Leverage it instead of unsecured credit. Most lenders are looking for their money or repayment to be guaranteed by some form of equity, which a home can provide if you want to launch a business. You can borrow against your own equity to send your kids to college. Waiting on the government, that has been overwhelming against BIPOC, may and probably is not the best answer until officials are in place that will reverse the serious damage done. That can take decades, so for those that are able, start today. Utilize services that will help you get debt-free, that will help you build a nest egg of YOUR OWN, and will help you get into a property you can afford with a modest down payment. This book may also challenge you to leave your all Black neighborhood the way it challenges Whites to accept integration as a means of increasing property value, moving closer to their egalitarian beliefs, and demonstrating an America that truly only exists in a few locales (i.e. neighborhoods) of excellence but not in the country as a whole.I believe the book will challenge us all…and quite uniquely too!

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  40. Tom U.P.

    This book was jaw dropping in reshaping the conception of how we came to be where we are today, economically and socially as individuals, neighborhoods and communities, but more importantly in presenting hard facts to completely disarm any false narrative of how we need to go forward.

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  41. Kenzie Garfield

    Read this book for a research project. It was an easy read and very educational.

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  42. Joshua Kelley

    5 star book, you can tell the author went through extensive research to create a digestible and coherent book on the history of segregation and how the past has a remarkable influence on the present. This book should be a must read for every school district in America so we as a nation can fully understand the impact, violence and the disadvantages black people faced and what should be done to remedy faults of our past leaders and their institutional discrimination

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  43. MZG

    As this book shows, government mandated racism did not end in 1865, but continued for another century. I had thought that redlining was just something realtors did, but it was actually required by the federal government to get government insured mortgages. The resulting segregation, across the US, made black people easy targets. Required reading for anyone trying to understand what structural racism today.

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  44. Kindle Customer

    The topics covered are important history to know, important to understand, and both purposely and carelessly unknown by many. This isn’t a book about true “critical race theory”, but is one that helps cover some of the topics that has engendered the backlash to CRT. If those critics knew the history, and read this book, perhaps they would act differently.

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  45. Abbey G.

    Last semester I purchased this book to help me write a paper after a fellow law student recommended it. It was more than worth it. I learned so much about (ongoing) discriminatory housing practices in America. Now, six months later, this book is number 5 on the Amazon bestsellers list because of the tragic murder of George Floyd and the protests happening across the United States because of that murder and the wider problems of systemic racism in America. If you are even vaguely considering purchasing it, do so. It will open your eyes to so much, and you’ll never look at any city or town the same way again.

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  46. LaVonda Redmond

    I truly found this book to be enlightening about the actions of the Federal, State and local government created the segregation that currently exist in this country. It demonstrates through facts, legal cases and actual methods that were used to ensure descendants of slaves never received their share of the so called “American Dream ” because it was designed to ensure failure. If the government refuses to build decent housing for black people or create the lie that white people’s property value will decrease if you live in predominantly black area or refuse to provide FHA loans to black people through de jure segregation then you are setting the entire group of people up for failure. This is a must read book for everyone regardless of color. Until their is an acknowledgement of the Holocaust of slavery this country is doomed to be a country that will never grow beyond its long entrenched hatered of descendants of slaves. This book also lays out the justification and need for reparations for black people to ever be able to achieve financial stability in this country. It demonstrates the unspoken rule that black people would be paid less for the same job as a white person. Which also contributes to black proverty and leaves no wealth to pass down to the next generation. As of today average black family worth 1400.00 and average white person worth 100,000.00. Please read this book to understand why.

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  47. Nancy Renner

    The Color of Law was an amazing, eye opener book. I was not aware of how the US government legalized so many aspects of our lives that resulted in formalizing segregation. It is daunting to consider the long term impacts and sad to see how difficult it is to undo the damage! Even today with the increased visibility of white supremacy and attempts to legalize voter suppression- it’s obvious we have a long way to go. I was overwhelmed by the amount of research that was done to create this book. Thank you for educating me on such a difficult topic.

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  48. thebehaviorist

    Reading this I developed a good understanding for the role of our entire government and its programs, north and south, in promoting segregation of the races into specific areas of the cities. While I have been skeptical of those promoting reparations, I find myself understanding and supporting some forms of compensation for those that have been discriminated against in their lifetimes especially when it comes to having bought a home. Having read this book, I find myself more open to researching issues that affect our times.

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  49. Adam Nutt

    It can be a difficult read to come to terms with the constitutional violations generations of families endured and to think about how these people have missed out on economic opportunities and communities have declined systematically. A worthwhile read and one that should be done with an open mind and heart to truly understand and empathize with the struggles inflicted upon minorities, particularly black Americans.

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  50. A Reader in Spain

    I bought this book after reading ‘Grant’ by Ron Chernow. I wanted to continue my reading on the subject of the cruel treatment of America’s black citizens. Even with specific laws forbidding segregation, the federal government continued (and still does) to subordinate blacks by knowingly and willingly supressing their incomes so that it was impossible for them to have the same quality of life as whites. They were forced to live in substandard housing and refused mortgages to prevent them from living within or near white communities. As a white male growing up in northern Ohio I never realized what was happening around me. Our textbooks purposely omitted the facts that I needed to know. This book was an eye opener for me because it leaves nothing out. I apologize to my black brothers and sisters because I was unaware. I am encouraging everyone I know to read this book as well as ‘White Rage’ by Carol Anderson. America needs to rewrite the history books. This book is a good start.

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  51. Steve Leigh

    The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein Liveright Publishing Corporation 2017This is a very detailed, interesting and tragic account of how Federal, state and local governments perpetuated and imposed residential segregation from at least the early 20th century. The key point that the author makes is that most of De Facto segregation is actually De Jure segregation. As the Post-Reconstruction South imposed Jim Crow , the Federal government and states and localities in the North, were enforcing their own segregation policies. The author largely rejects the whole distinction between De Facto and De Jure apartheid.The author almost only discusses residential segregation. This means that the Southern legal policies that created separate Black and white restaurants , water fountains etc. are not addressed. He therefore underemphasizes the difference between the North and the South. In the North, similar policies were often carried out by private actors while in the South these were written in law.The distinction between North and South is often overemphasized so this is a useful corrective. The stress on De Jure action by Federal and Northern governments is important and very well taken ! The excuse often given was the need for community harmony. Yet relatively integrated “slums” were often cleared to make way for segregated housing. The author notes that private bigoted action including physical attacks was often the back up to public policy.The Democratic Party’s reputation is skewered in this account. From Woodrow Wilson to FDR and beyond, Federal policies specifically reinforced legal apartheid. The FHA had specific pro-segregation policies. Much of home lending required FHA support. This meant that it was impossible to get loans for Black people to move into white areas. The only exception was conscious block busting by real estate agents.Local racist zoning policies were outlawed by the Supreme Court in 1917. The ground for this was the freedom to contract—not anti-racism! It went along with other decisions outlawing minimum wages, etc. Local governments often found ways around the decision. They also began to shift to economic zoning—single family only, size of lots etc.aThe author also explains the role of the police in enforcing racist laws. They allowed mobs to physically attack Black families moving into white areas. They also enforced racist covenants by evicting Black families that violated the covenants.One effect of all this was concentration of wealth and income among whites. Rothstein explains this in some detail. Whites could build wealth after WWI by buying in the white only suburbs with VA and FHA loans. Blacks could not , so never build equity at the rate that whites did.In order to win U.S. workers from support of Bolshevism, the U.S. government engaged in a major campaign to encourage home ownership. There were 2 million posters put out etc. This was a slow roll-out. At first buyers were only given mortgages that did not build equity and had to be paid off in a few years. A shift toward the current form took place in the 30’s . In all cases, restrictions made it harder for Black families.Overall, this book is an excellent contribution to our understanding of institutional racism in the U.S. The contrast between North and South though real in certain respects has long been over-emphasized. Institutional racism is an AMERICAN problem, not a Southern problem alone. The U.S. ruling class endorsed racism from the end of Reconstruction onward. The forms used in different in different areas but the overall program was similar. The potential of the unity of poor Blacks and whites had to be eliminated . In the South this was done with Jim Crow. In the North ,it was done with segregation.The author’s politics are liberal. This comes across strongly. He stresses that the real problem with segregation is that it violates the U.S. constitution. He advances other moral considerations but constitutionalism is the key one. Of course this is contradictory. The U.S. constitution enshrined an unequal racial order. Even the 13th amendment which ended slavery consolidated slavery through the criminal injustice system. The 14th amendment has been interpreted in different ways. The structure of the constitution with its Senate, Electoral College, judicial and presidential veto, exclusion of immigrants and felons from voting etc. is inherently racist and undemocratic. Further, the constitution was founded on the expulsion, dispossession and genocide of native people. We cannot logically base anti-racism on constitutionalism.Related to this is the author’s acceptance of the capitalist system. While favoring measures to improve opportunities and even transferring some wealth, he strongly accepts the current class divisions. He stresses the needs of middle class Blacks. He favors the right of poor Blacks to become middle class, but accepts the existence of the middle class. Of course he defines class on an income basis. In spite of this, his explanation of and attack on the concentration of wealth is important.Beyond this, the weakest political point in the book is its exclusion of other BIPOC groups. He doesn’t discuss Natives . He believes that the other racial groups will assimilate over time as did European ethnic groups. He downplays the effect on racism on Latinos compared to Blacks. Yet the laws and covenants he discusses exclude ALL who are not “Caucasian”. It is true that due to the role of slavery in the foundation of U.S. wealth , that Blacks have historically been the largest BIPOC group and most spread across the U.S. , Blacks have been central economically and politically. However, his downplay of other groups is misplaced.Finally, the centrality on integration is a bit off. The problem with segregation is that it was a policy for the enforcement of oppression. What needs to be ended is oppression. Some of his proposals for what amount to reparations are very useful. The ones that just promote integration are less. He notes that the reforms are unlikely to be passed. Education is the key to changing political realities he feels.Because of his liberal politics, he doesn’t consider the real solution to institutional racism: a socialist revolution that will center the fight against exploitation and class division. To be successful, this movement will have to bring the fight against oppression to the very center of the struggle.In spite of the limitations of the author’s liberal politics, the documentation of institutional racism in the North and West is VERY important and needs to be widely understood !

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  52. ReginaRose

    Well-documented. The stories of individuals and families in this book gives a broader sense and understanding of the effects of segregation. I was on a road trip and listened to The Color of Law most of the way. I can say that I spent most of the time with my mouth hanging open at such overt segregation support by the government. It’s just incredible to learn of just how systemic segregation is rooted in America. I was hoping there would be some explanation as to why segregation was/is so necessary. What is necessary is the background on segregation laid out in this book.I thoroughly enjoyed the Q and A’s at the end of the book because it answered some of the questions one might still have or gave me insight to a different view.I have experienced segregation, again….but it is good to see it documented so well. It’s hard to dispute facts.THANK YOU Mr. Rothstein for all the dedication, time and effort it must have taken for you and all web of people involved to connect and produce such an offering. I believe this offering makes a difference.

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  53. Randall L. Wilson

    Just as I was reading about how the government segregated the Bay Area, I saw images of the torch-lit march in Charleston. I recognized my sickening kinship of whiteness I shared with those marching. It is the kinship of willed cultural ignorance that forms the foundation of white privilege in America. That I was shocked as a 57 year old white American man aware of this nation’s racist past is part of the bond I share with those young men in Charleston.My shock is that of my white privilege hitting up against the racist reality from which I benefit. I can’t hold on to the fact of intentional governmental, societal and cultural segregation against the everyday belief that we are a liberal, tolerant and diverse society. And because I am surrounded by my own kind, we share our collective amnesia which allows us to ponder why is it that African-Americans haven’t worked their way out of poverty.‘The Color of Law’ is a great book because it is focused on disputing the legal amnesia of the Robert’s Court that plays to the safety of continued white privilege by denying the reality of decades of intentional racism which manifests itself as segregation. Rothstein marshals his evidence like a lawyer to show all the ways in which this nation knowingly pursues policies to keep the American dream white and restricted.Incidentally the book makes it clear that American racism is cold and systemic. It is merciless and as relentless as a shark. White people love to claim that they aren’t racist not understanding that when they do that, they are admitting to the racism they refuse to see. American racism isn’t about an individual white person’s warm feelings towards an African American. No doubt many slave-owners had warm feeling about individual African-American slaves. No, American racism is about the system that whites pretend not to know exists that gives them the freedom to like individual African-Americans while spouting ‘law and order’ slogans. It is time for us white people to own our racism and expose our comfortable lies that make the system work. Only then can we start the hard work we have ahead of us.

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  54. Simbi Madzudzo

    Factual, informative and an eye opener. Factual historical narration that accurately explains the current state of affairs.

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  55. Henry T. Overton Jr.

    The answers you need, are in one place. Do you want to know why America still has a ways to go? Start here and make your mind see, for the first time, the real truth hidden in plain sight. Or keep your comfortable ignorance.

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  56. Super Dave

    Every American should read this book, it explains the role of government in creating the American middle class and the efforts by government to exclude African Americans from housing and education. It also provides verifiable receipts.

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  57. ShayMo29

    This book should be required reading for everyone. It is insightful as to how we as a nation was and are complicit in systematic and astemic racism. I especially enjoy the fact that the author allows the reader to come up with thier own solutions to the ongoing issues. This book is definitely a conversation starter. The information presented is so informative and insightful, it gives the reader so much to think about. If you ever wondered how and why the African American community is in the state that it is in this book will enlighten you.

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  58. Jo C

    Outstanding telling of how Blacks were systematically left out of post-war housing and educational opportunities that greatly enhanced wealth and employment options for white families. If you want to understand how black families have been segregated into ghettos with poor schools, few facilities, and low-level jobs, read this book. The government had a shocking hand in much of what happened. Very well documented material.

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  59. Kindle Customer

    If there is ever a book you need to read, it is this!! If you think that systemic racism is a myth , sit and really read the book. It illustrates how politics follows the whims of white Americans; that true change and improvement to the American society is a slow- moving machine.I always wondered how a white factory worker and a black factory worker could work at the same facility, but still have wealth and housing disparity. What is redlining? Why couldn’t affluent Black families move into neighborhoods comparable to their financial portfolio? Why is school district a key factor in buying single family homes?This book shows the history of segregated housing and how federal government agencies and the Supreme Court contributed to the practice which was outlawed in the 14th Amendment. I will admit that it took me a long time to read this from cover to cover. It hurt me to the core because I could see how America is regressing back to old ways. Progress is not a bad word!!I have recommended this book to everyone I know who reads for knowledge, enlightenment, and validation. Some have downloaded the Audible version. I highlighted so much it looked like a coloring book when I was done.There’s currently a case where a Black family had their house appraised for a refinance loan. The house was valued at X. When the same house was appraised with “white owners”, the value increased $300k. Learn how this happens in 2022.The solution is not given to this problem, but the first step is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Then we as a society can work together to fix it.

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  60. XtinaG

    I was born in 79. This book describes to me why my family suffered so much growing up. Why my father had such a hard time finding work, why we were homeless so often. Why when we did find places to live the surroundings were overcrowded, often dirty and usually dangerous. It wasn’t an accident. I’m saddened and disgusted that things haven’t been made right. My family is still suffering the consequences of America’s Racist agendas. No one has been punished for any of this and we’re STILL PAYING THE CONSEQUENCES!The book is great. I’m left disgusted…..

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  61. Sunny Lewallen

    I found the information in this book to be fascinating and deeply enlightening, as well as expertly organized and thorough. Perhaps its thoroughness could be a drawback for some readers, some in by book club certainly felt so, but nearly all agreed that the examples of de jure bias throughout the country over the decades were a true education on how endemic the problem is. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a scholarly breakdown that helps frame personal conversations or to add context to news and narratives.

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  62. Thomas N. Gardner

    This is critical race theory; it is critical race facts. The author assembles the facts to educate readers on the methods, laws, and business practices that created ghettoes and denied African-Americans the stepping stones to wealth that were enjoyed by whites. Everything from discrimination in GI benefits after WW2 to red-lining and restricted covenants is explained in crystal clear terms. This is essential reading.

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  63. Maurice Miles MartinezMaurice Miles Martinez

    This is a powerful book! It contains so much information that I will have to reference it in my next book. The Color of Law contains a brilliant perspective on how this nation aggressively tried to pursue segregationist policies and practices. The book details numerous ways throughout American society that the federal government, real estate organizations, and housing policies were implemented to prevent African-Americans from advancing. I also discuss some of these issues in my book: The Real Wakandas of Africa by Maurice Miles Martinez. Many people don’t understand that racism is not a series of individual actions against Black people. Instead, racism as Rothstein points out, was an is a system of institutions. Like an attorney presenting a case, Rothstein explains many of these institutions and how they operated. In numerous instances, the federal government under the FHA refused to back loans that paid for developments where black people might live. These developments often excluded African-Americans and others. When black people did happen to settle in white neighborhoods, they were often driven from these neighborhoods by racial violence. These policies and practices continued throughout the 20th century resulting in economic and social inequality. This inequality still exists today. This book comes highly recommended and is packed with information. It is a must read!

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  64. Kenya

    If you are someone who believes that everyone has the same opportunities in the United States, then you should really read this. No mattter what race you are this book will put many things into persepctive for you. This is a very informative read so spend your coin and read it.

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  65. Larry

    It’s price and delivery from Amazon was great.The book itself is one of the best, and most remarkable, books I’ve read in years. And I read several hours each day. I am very interested in race. I have been trying to find answers as to why the black race has had so much trouble. This book documents, in incredible detail, how America and it’s communities, organized local, state, and federal laws to keep African Americans segregated. This books sites, in original documents, the white mans openess in keeping Africans in “their place”. The bibliography is huge. And yet it’s not just court cases. It’s personal. The author sites individuals and their plight. As I said at the beginning, this may be the best, non-fiction book I have read this century.Get it. Read it. It will give you the tools to combat segregation and racism. But, be prepared to be disappointed in your country.

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  66. Kathy Allen

    A must read for those looking to understand the racist history of this country

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  67. Avery

    This book details how US laws were used to marginalize Blacks. Very informative! I highly recommend this book to all who inquire about how the wealth gap between Blacks and other races has broadened.

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  68. Samantha

    This book is a great read! It opens your eyes as well as hipping you to the game of how it all started and how it’s still live real and just wow!!! You will most definitely walk away from this book with some type of new knowledge hands down.

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  69. Ryan Osullivan

    The author meticulously documents the official and unofficial actions of the US government (from the various branches of the Federal government to local city and county zoning boards) to prove that since the passage of the 13 and 14 amendments various political actors and policies have violated the constitutional rights of African Americans. It is very academic in its approach, but the personal stories within are still captivating. A must read for any person who thinks they know about the modern history of race and policy in America.

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  70. E. M. Green

    Wow, what a great audiobook!! It explained a lot of my history on Long Island, N. Y. and how I got to Suffolk County as well as why I could not buy a house I wanted even after Johnson signed the anti-discrimination housing bill into law. Amazing disclosures learning it is more than housing discrimination factors but so much more that colluded to enforce a system that should be dead but is NOT. It is alive and well and continue even in 2018. It explains how the 2 generation loss of inheritance was possible & real but not the fault of parents working under difficult legal & Illegal circumstances. Fairness will only happen when we as a people say it has to change and make an effort to eliminate discrimination and the symbols that glory it.

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  71. Toytoy369

    This is one of the most important books I have ever read. It should be required reading in all High School American History and Civics classes, and again required in such classes in college for anyone who missed it in High School.It should be made into a documentary for all adult Americans who either can’t read or won’t read such a book, and the documentary should be featured on every channel and online venues, until this extremely important information is common knowledge, as it should be.

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  72. D. at LLRC

    I saw this book on a news programe and discided to see just how I have learned about how much racism was government sponsored. The author has laid out how different agencies of the US government has lied to the people of this country about how much they are “HELPING” to end racism when in fact the U.S. government has promoted the racism through the political manulipation for the suppression of one ethnic group of people for political gains and reelections of the elected congressional members who are only out for the ethnic separation of the people who have been born, or have become citizens in this country.A MUST READ FOR EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY THE POLITICIAN IN CONGRESS!

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  73. Richard M. Berrong

    This examination of how our government – mostly the federal government, Washington – passed laws and imposed ordonnances to keep Blacks from access to fair housing is sometimes infuriating – the subject, that is; not this study of it – but always well documented. It is truly astounding what the Feds did across the country, even while condemning what states were doing in the Jim Crow South.

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  74. Richard W. Wise

    Rothstein has done an astonishingly through job of detailing the true causes of geographic segregation in our country and demonstrating that it is the result of a consistent U. S. government policy dating back to the 1930s.I was a community organizer fighting redlining in Boston in the 1970s. My newly published mystery/thriller, Redlined, chronicles that struggle. We understood how the reality of redlining impacted people’s lives and fortunes and destroyed urban neighborhoods like Jamaica Plain, but had not much more than a vague understanding of its history.Redlining impacts everyone living in an affected neighborhood. The issue in Jamaica Plain mainly impacted the resale value of properties owned by white residents. In short, you needn’t be black to be redlined. Stopping the redlining arrested the decline and turned the community around. Today, Jamaica Plain is a vibrant, ethnically diverse, urban neighborhood with rapidly increasing property values.The Color of Law increasing awareness and fills in the historical gaps. Now, we understand the whole truth, the extraordinary effect misguided, racist government policy took on a life of its own and shaped today’s urban scene.Richard W. Wise, author: Redlined: A Novel of Boston

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  75. ronnie l robinson

    I enjoy reading this book in my spare time.

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  76. J. D. Rolle

    The Color of Law… is the lack of WillI purchased the audible version of the book which helped me to listen in awe; I don’t know if I could have kept turning pages as quickly with a hardcopy version of the book. Chapter after Chapter Rothstein validates his theory of public policy executed by the federal and local governments designed to maintain the color barrier through segregated housing. It left me numb. As a student of urban housing, I studied many of the ghettos cited in the book. I intentionally worked at HUD as an analyst in the early 1980s to seek a dissertation topic which I found and completed, ” Equity Considerations of a National Housing Voucher Program on Low-Income Housing in Racial Sub-markets”. I forecast then that vouchers would be the cause of decreased accessible urban housing to poor Blacks in racial sub-markets and that increased rental price inflation would further decrease household income. It is a sad commentary that one of the richest nations in the world lacks the will to solve the urban housing problem. Rothstein demonstrates that, supply side economics has failed. What’s next? Who will house the poor?

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  77. Robert

    I had to take frequent breaks while reading due to my anger. I literally shook my fists a number of times at the fervor with which government and public agencies zealously stomped on the rights and humanity of Black people in America. If anyone doubts that systemic racism plays a primary role in the second class status of Black people today, this book is a must read. It should be required reading in high schools. Further, every member of government should read it.

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  78. RJ CormackRJ Cormack

    All cities & towns had this problem, and America has lasting impacts from the days or slavery that we will continue to struggle with into the future. If we do not address the systemic racial inequalities our society had in place after the civil war, we can’t move forward. Stop blaming each other, stop claiming there is no problem. There is a problem, and it won’t end until we can openly talk about it and accept the fault of injustice we created. Instead of pictures of me holding the book shown above, here are images or my city’s 1934 map and home owners association laws. The 1957 Interstate Defense Highway Act built over majority red (Black owned) neighborhoods, and they also built a giant shopping center next to the new highway. Many were relocated to cheap housing that were built in slab (while most Michigan homes of higher quality nhave a basement). They were built on new subdivision gravel roads in haste without sidewalks or street curbs and storm drains. People today talk badly of certain neighborhoods while they have moved out if the city to 10 acer plots farmers were selling to White people who wanted to build their own new home and remove their children from “diversity”, while quickly driving into the city on the new highway interstate system to their job and back home at night.

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  79. Tracy K. Matern

    Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s in New York, I had no idea there was imbedded racism in mortgages. Thanks for educating me.

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  80. Paul H. Gaither

    The US needs to understand history in order to avoid repeating past mistakes and figure out how to correct the resulting problems

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    The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
    The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

    $12.04

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