Today Week Month

Covenants and Conventions: How Legally Unenforceable Agreements Segregated America.

Start/End Wednesday, November 20, 2013 12:00 PM EST -- 01:00 PM EST
Location Name JGH 102B

Richard R.W. Brooks will discuss his most recent book, Saving the Neighborhood: Racially Restrictive Covenants, Law, and Social Norms,(coauthored with Carol Rose). The talk will examine the history and enduring legacy of racially restrictive property agreements (or racial covenants), which the Supreme Court ruled unenforceable in 1948. Despite this repudiation, however, racial covenants lived on in real estate records, influencing the behaviors lenders, insurers and realtors, as well as the beliefs and expectations of home buyers and sellers. Hence, even without formal enforcement, racial covenants were effective signals, creating “common knowledge” that guided the behavior of real estate professionals and ordinary buyers and sellers. Moreover, they reinforced the social norms of racial exclusion still visible in American housing practice.