The widely acclaimed 2017 publication, The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein argues that the racial segregation of Americans in residential communities is not so much a result of personal preference as it is the result of discriminatory government policies dating from the 1800s until the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act prohibited future discrimination but did not reverse deeply ingrained residential segregation. Rothstein uses evidence and extensive detail to present an analysis of historical data and events to highlight the de jure segregation across the country, and the lasting impact on African Americans.
With the 2023 publication of Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under the Color of Law, Rothstein and his daughter, Leah Rothstein, advocate for housing reforms on a national level, and outline targeted strategies for undoing segregation. Just Action details the importance of redressing historical inequities in communities through intentional action and programing. It provides a blueprint for concerned citizens and community leaders to hold perpetuators of systemic discrimination accountable and take responsibility for reversing the harm caused.
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