At Liberty Podcast
At Liberty Podcast

The Consequences of Chicago’s Segregated Housing History

May 18, 2023

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Today, we’re focusing on Chicago — the country’s third largest (and one of the most diverse) cities, and a city that has been a blueprint for housing segregation. While the discriminatory practice of racial redlining was officially outlawed in 1968, the practice still reverberates throughout the city today. For every dollar loaned by banks in Chicago’s white neighborhoods, they invest just 12 cents in the city’s Black neighborhoods, and 13 cents in Latino areas, according to a 2020 study by WBEZ and City Bureau. A typical household’s wealth in the richest area of Chicago is 206 times higher than a typical household’s wealth in the poorest area. This continued inequity lies at the crux of the city’s ongoing struggles against gun and gang violence, unemployment, and homelessness, but are often overlooked. The system was designed to create these problems, and has worked as intended. Now, it’s time to learn how so many Chicagoans were set up to struggle, and how we can all be a part of undoing the legacy of racism that pervades the city’s maps.

Here to talk to us about Chicago’s infamous housing history, ongoing consequences, and nationwide influence, is Mike Amezcua, associate history professor at Georgetown University and author of “Making Mexican Chicago: From Postwar Settlement to the Age of Gentrification.”

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