Jim Crow of the North

Image result for housing segregation US

The roots of racial disparities are seen through a new lens in this film that explores the origins of housing segregation in the Minneapolis area. But the story also illustrates how African-American families and leaders resisted this insidious practice, and how Black people built community — within and despite — the red lines that these restrictive covenants created.

For generations, the North has given itself credit for being less racially biased than the South, and for being the better place for African Americans to live. I heard this myth repeated many times & believed it for a long time. The logic was straightforward – at least to Northerners. After Reconstruction ended in 1876, the South imposed Jim Crow, which it enforced with lynchings and state-sanctioned brutality. As a result, millions of blacks fled to the North.

After World War II, northern states began passing civil rights laws that prohibited discrimination – in theory, at least – and protected voting rights, long before Congress passed similar laws in the 1960s.

Northerners have forgotten, however, how hard it was for blacks living above the Mason-Dixon Line to struggle to achieve rudimentary freedoms.

This film illustrates this painful reminder.

 

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