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Race for Profit

How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Race for Profit

Approx. 368 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 6 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5366-2
    Published: October 2019

Justice, Power, and Politics

Hardcover Available October 2019, but pre-order your copy today!

Buy this Book

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor offers a damning chronicle of the twilight of redlining and the introduction of conventional real estate practices into the Black urban market, uncovering a transition from racist exclusion to predatory inclusion. Widespread access to mortgages across the United States after World War II cemented homeownership as fundamental to conceptions of citizenship and belonging. African Americans had long faced racist obstacles to homeownership, but the social upheaval of the 1960s forced federal government reforms. In the 1970s, new housing policies encouraged African Americans to become homeowners, and these programs generated unprecedented real estate sales in Black urban communities. However, inclusion in the world of urban real estate was fraught with new problems. As new housing policies came into effect, the real estate industry abandoned its aversion to African Americans, especially Black women, precisely because they were more likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure.

Taylor narrates this dramatic transformation in housing policy, its financial ramifications, and its influence on African Americans. She reveals that federal policy transformed the urban core into a new frontier of cynical extraction disguised as investment.

About the Author

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is assistant professor of African American studies at Princeton University and author of From BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.
For more information about Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"Race for Profit powerfully disrupts a standard story about racism--that it depends on discriminatory exclusion--and introduces readers to 'predatory inclusion,' an analytical gift for students of social history. Through impressive research and vivid storytelling, Taylor offers an unflinching examination of the mythology that has sustained the American dream, ultimately revealing that, for many African Americans, homeownership hasn’t resulted in the fulfillment of a dream but instead has been a nightmare--a horror story of racial capitalism."--Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

“In Race for Profit, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor makes an enormous contribution to the collective understanding of the methods and mechanics of racial capitalism, revealing how the real estate industry’s long history of discrimination against African Americans has adapted from explicit policies of racist exclusion to equally devastating predatory financial mechanisms. Drawing on deep archival research, Taylor’s lucid and incisive book explains why we cannot look to the private sector for solutions, but instead need a radically different approach to housing based on the right to a dignified life for all.”—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

"This is an incredibly important history. Well-written, persuasive, and brimming with insightful analysis, Race for Profit is a book that people have been waiting for."--Beryl Satter, author of Family Properties: How the Struggle over Race and Real Estate Transformed Chicago and Urban America

"Taylor offers a strong account of major transformations in U.S. affordable housing policy and its impact on African American communities. This is an extraordinary book, measured and incisive, with a rich and compelling narrative."--Joseph Heathcott, The New School