Black History and Housing

“Everything hinges on education. Without it, you can’t advocate for proper health care, for housing, for a civil rights bill that ensures your rights.”—Susan L. Taylor

Black History Month is a time to look to the past for contemplation and the present with inspiration. To better understand the relationship between race and housing, here’s a list of films, videos, and books that explore housing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

‘Redlining’ was the unfair and unjust practice of denying African-American’s essential loans and resources to pursue homeownership. This took place for decades and the ramifications are still being felt today.



“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X

  1. 70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green – The Demolition of Public Housing in Chicago

  2. Housing Segregation In Everything (NPR)

      3. A Matter of Place


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. Moving toward Integration – The Past and Future of Fair Housing by Richard H. Sander, Yana A. Kucheva, and Jonathan M. Zasloff
  2. The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
  3. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
  4. Not A Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America by Peter Edelman

Mercy Housing’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Steering Committee have offered the following reading list of inspiring African-American authors:

  1.  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 
  2.  I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin
  3.  Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  4. Roots by Alex Haley
  5.  Salvation: Black People and Love by Bell Hooks
  6.  Beloved by Toni Morrison
  7.  Becoming by Michelle Obama
  8.  The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  9. The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
  10.  Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright