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Racial Democracy and the Black MetropolisHousing Policy in Postwar Chicago$
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Preston H. Smith II

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816637027

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816637027.001.0001

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Class and Racial Democracy

Class and Racial Democracy

(p.191) 8 Class and Racial Democracy
Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis

Preston H. Smith

University of Minnesota Press

Black elites reaffirmed the primacy of race by advocating the use of race-neutral occupancy standards, which favored those blacks who had the income and class culture to reside in integrated middle-class neighborhoods, against race-restrictive covenants. They argued that an open housing market would serve most black housing needs by eliminating race as an allocational principle. Their willingness to substitute class restrictions for racial ones brought about the dominance of racial democracy. Black civic elites defended the anticovenant campaign by pointing out the benefits that the reform would bring to working-class blacks.

Keywords:   black elites, race-restrictive covenants, race-neutral occupancy standards, middle-class neighborhoods, anticovenant campaign

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