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HOW RACIAL COVENANTS SHAPED THE DEVELOPMENT OF MINNEAPOLIS


We wanted to take a moment to focus on an unbelievably powerful and eye-opening documentary called “Jim Crow of the North.”

The documentary was produced by Twin Cities PBS in 2019 and is largely centered around “Mapping Prejudice,” a project that has created the first-ever comprehensive visualization of racial covenants for an American city.

Racial covenants were agreements entered into by a group of property owners, sub-division developers, or real estate operators in a given neighborhood, binding them to not sell, lease, rent or transfer their property to specified groups of people. These racist, restrictive real estate covenants spread throughout Minneapolis in the early 20th century. While the restrictive covenants were eliminated in the 1960’s they have continued to have lasting effects on the development scene in Minneapolis to this very day.

When watching Jim Crow of the North you’ll see how one of the largest groups of people racial covenants were used against were Black individuals. These covenants prevented Black families from buying homes within numerous areas within the community, ultimately forcing them to reside in certain parts of the city that may have been less desirable to live in.

We feel that sharing this documentary is extremely important as we continue to struggle with a war on race that has been going on for centuries.

Today, Minneapolis is one of the worst places to live in the United States for Black families. Within our community a Black family’s household yearly income is nearly one third of that of a White family’s income. In addition, Black families are also often denied home loans making the ability to purchase a home in general, let alone one within a desirable community, an extremely challenging process.

Even in 2020 we can still see the major impacts of racial covenants within our community. This documentary just further shows the importance of creating affordable and equal housing for all throughout our ENTIRE community.

To view the documentary simply press the play button below.

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