"One Home at a Time"

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Imagine purchasing a home, receiving the deed restrictions for the property, and reading the following verbiage:

"That it [the property] shall never be owned or occupied by persons of the negro race (agricultural tenants and domestic servants excepted).

Deed restrictions such as this, though deemed Unconstitutional and unenforceable by the Supreme Court after Shelley v. Kramer in 1948 and illegal by the Fair Housing Act of 1968, still exist in thousands of deeds across the country, including Asheville and Charlotte.

 And while it can be acknowledged these covenants are of course "stupid" and "relics of a bygone era", the existence of these covenants can still create damage within the community.  

They have the potential for psychological trauma, sending future buyers a message that they are not wanted, and therein lies the real problem.  

So, what can be done?  A conversation must take place within the community, its planners, attorneys, real estate professionals, and neighborhoods to which these covenants apply. 

While the act of literally erasing these racial covenants from every deed in existence would be difficult and expensive to remove, there is absolutely no excuse for their existence without some form of addressing their illegality and moral repugnance.  It is necessary that these covenants are brought to light and disavowed. One home at a time.

MAR BLOGGER: Morgan Overcash-Young

Photo Credits: Manchester City Library Tags: Civil Rights Act·Fair Housing Act·manchester·Manchester City Library·N.H.·new hampshire

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