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Revealing Durham, NC's Racist Housing History

December 13, 2017

Durham, NC is a midsize southern city on the rise. Located in one of the fastest growing regions of the country, Durham is staking out its place as a hotspot in the new economy. But the city has a legacy of inequality. Take housing. Many neighborhoods had "covenants" requiring that Old postcard of Durham, NCexcluded non-whites from buying homes. Not only were non-Caucasians not allowed, they couldn't spend the night unless they were a household servant. 

Trees raise property values. City maps reveal trees were planted in the city in a racist manner. Planting was coordinated by the all-white garden club, and no trees were planted in black communities.

A new research project is focusing on this type of inequality. Coordinated by award-winning historian Robert Korstad, the project is called Bull City 150: Reckoning with Durham's Past to Build a More Equitable Future. The project culminates in 2019, Durham's 150th birthday.



Bull City 150 is a civic education initiative of the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity.