Segregation and Another Racial Issues Afro American in “The Colors of Law” by Richard Rothstein

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The Colors of Law by Richard Rothstien was a very interesting, but engaging book to read. Starting out the book was very confusing. This book went through spirals of different subjects. It was based on how whites made the lives of African Americans hard. Whites would do anything to prevent the integration of African Americans. This book brought to life many hardships that seemed to be forgotten about African Americans and what they faced even after slavery. The white population was all for keeping things in segregation and they did not like the idea of integration. They would do anything that would fight against that. That’s where the main subject seems to be about racial aspects.

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There were a couple key parts of this book that definitely stood out. One was the talking about Mr.Stevenson’s life and how because he was African American he only had a couple options to do things. Another key part was the talking about the private agreements and how only whites could buy houses, but African Americnas could not. The third key element that stood out was when it talked about the suppressed income and how Africcan Americans were forced to give up their money that they earned. The last key element was how respected officials such as the government would do anything to be unfair to the African Americans. Yes, there were many other things to consider to talk about from this book, but these are the four parts that caught the attention of this reader.

To start off, the first chapter was definitely the hooker to keep reading the book. It started out with a place called San Francisco and how it was inferred that San Francisco had racial policies in its environment in the twentieth century. Reading on, it continued to talk about a guy named Mr. Stevenson who was one out of seven of his brothers who couldn’t continue school due to segregation. Looking at his story he explained that they did not have to work for white farmers.That was because he went to school and because his dad could grow all his own crops, raise his own farm animals and hunt for his own food which back then seems very rare, just from learning about slaves. To read that Mr. Stevenson was told that because he is black, he is just expected to work on a farm for someone else is very harsh. They do not care whether or not he finishes school, it is all on him to work for people. Because of how the rules were, Mr.Stevenson did not get the chance to go to high school. He instead had to follow his brothers and go to work. His jobs only consisted of being reserved for African Americnas only. With this there are many things that can be pointed out and one being school. Back then it seems that only whites could go to high school, but now anyone starting from however old can attend a public school, no matter race, gender, culture or religion. Imagining being put in that position where the choice is to not work or have to work for someone else and potentially get no money is hard to come by. If only they gave them more encouraging things to do and let them finish school would have been way better then them having to go off to work at 12 years old.

Another key part that stood out was in chapter five when it talked about private agreements. To learn that there were actual neighborhoods where they were exclusive to only one color is beyond crazy. Trying to understand why such things were happening is very confusing. What comes from this chapter is that the FHA was okay with people not selling houses to African Americans. People would actually put a race to their house thinking that it would sell for higher and they would get more money. Think about it. Putting a race on a house. Telling people that because they are African American whether they have the money to buy the house or not doesn’t matter. Not only that but if it happened that the homeowner decided to sell to an African American, the neighbor could actually sue that family and get them kicked out of their home, just because they are not white. Why was this okay? Well it was a time period that people were still not okay to the fact that there are other people that are not white, it still doesn’t make what happened okay. Lessons that can be taken away from this is that African Americnas really had to hold their own. It is astonishing how much they were willing to not change the way African Americans were living. Not only was segregation happening in residential areas, but also schools. They did not want their white children being exposed to black children. The extent to segregation was a never ending thing. With no other choice the blacks had to locate in bad neighborhoods where things were literally falling apart. These places included the ghettos areas or slums. The president named Richard Nixon even took the time to decide that the white communitesties shouldnt be forced to live with African Americans since they did not want their white communities to turn into crime and ugly neighborhoods. That’s why African American houses were low quality compared to whites. 

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Segregation and another racial issues afro american in "The Colors of Law" by Richard Rothstein. (2022, Oct 05). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from
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