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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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Selling the Negro Housing Market

Selling the Negro Housing Market

(p.221) 9 Selling the Negro Housing Market
Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis

Preston H. Smith

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter studies the work of black civic leaders and white policy analysts who made the case that a viable black housing market existed in Chicago and other major cities, which could be profitably served by the housing industry. It then looks at home builders’ interests in the black housing market in Chicago, along with black civic elites’ response to the argument that it was blacks’ lack of income and class culture that hinders them from meeting acceptable housing market standards. It also traces the campaign mounted by black federal housing officials to gain the interest of the national real estate trade organizations. This demonstrates the consensus among black policy elites over the key role of private enterprise in pursuing racially democratic housing, and the tension they experienced over open occupancy.

Keywords:   black civic leaders, white policy analysts, black housing market, Chicago, black federal housing, racially democratic housing, open occupancy

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