Friday, March 12, 2021
Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), invites readers to attend a lunchtime book talk with Keeanga-Yamahtta-Taylor on her book, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlining’s end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers – as if unprofitability, rather than racism, was the cause of housing segregation. Bankers, investors, and real estate agents took advantage of the perverse incentives, targeting the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits. As a result, by the end of the 1970s, the nation’s first programs to encourage Black homeownership ended with tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country. The push to uplift Black homeownership had descended into a goldmine for realtors and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made cudgel for the champions of deregulation to wield against government intervention of any kind.
Taylor will be in conversation with fellow historian Davarian L. Baldwin. We encourage attendees to secure a copy of the book and read the pieces in our week-long roundtable on the book. AAIHS members should take advantage of the exclusive members’ discount on books purchased from UNC Press.
Date: Friday, March 12, 2021
Time: 12noon EST
*Registration is free and open to all.
About the Author
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is an Assistant Professor of African-American Studies at Princeton University. She is author of Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, published in 2019 by the University of North Carolina Press, longlisted for a National Book Award for nonfiction and a 2020 finalist for the Pulitzer in History. Taylor’s book From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, won the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book in 2016. She is also editor of How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, which won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBQT nonfiction in 2018. Taylor has been appointed as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians by the Organization of American Historians. Taylor is a contributing writer and columnist for The New Yorker. Follow her on Twitter @KeeangaYamahtta.
About the Moderator
Davarian L. Baldwin is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Founding Director of the Smart Cities Research Lab at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering Our Cities (Bold Type Books, 2021), Chicago’s New Negroes: Modernity, the Great Migration, and Black Urban Life (UNC, 2007), and co-editor (with Minkah Makalani) of the essay collection, Escape From New York: The New Negro Renaissance beyond Harlem (University of Minnesota, 2013). Baldwin is finishing the book Land of Darkness: Chicago and the Making of Race in Modern America (Oxford University Press). In addition to teaching and writing, Baldwin sits on the Executive Council of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE). He serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of African American History, and the American Studies Journal. Baldwin is also co-editor of the Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy book series for Temple University Press and was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. Follow him on Twitter @DavarianBaldwin.