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Modern Redlining

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Eugenic Housing: Redlining, Reproductive Regulation, and Suburban Development in the United States.

Laura L. Lovett

Redlining, the deliberate housing discrimination against Black Americans and other people of color, had many different facets. It is well known that the process was a collaborative effort between lenders, realtors, and urban developers to establish homogenous communities in order to fix housing markets and fulfill racist fantasies. However, this article delves into a lesser-known phenomenon that the author believes was just as intentional. Lovett explores how the American Eugenics Society intervened in suburban and urban planning in the 1930s in order to control who gets to form families and how they are allowed to flourish. Through a feminist intersectional lens, the article explores how Black and immigrant communities in urban centers were not given the same opportunities for proper family planning and as such restricted their ability to reproduce. These factors also influenced the high maternal mortality rate for Black women, "reverse-redlining," and inadequate public education funding. The author explains how these impacts were not authored solely by the American Eugenics Society but also by eugenically informed housing practices and realtors. Get access to the article here.


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