Sunday Fact Fest, Episode 01: Racism is “The Lingering Legacy of America’s First Cookie-Cutter Suburb.”


Looks like Hell for Certain, at least to me.

The Lingering Legacy of America’s First Cookie-Cutter Suburb, by Winnie Lee (Atlas Obscura)

… While the Levitts successfully turned their business plan into a quintessential symbol of family values, Levittown also was a symbol of exclusion. William Levitt, in charge of the housing development’s marketing and sales, did not sell houses to families of color. A clause in the standard lease for the first Levitt houses baldly stated that the homes could not “be used or occupied by any person other than members of the Caucasian race.” Government policies at the time, such as those of the Federal Housing Administration, supported such racist practices, blocking Black Americans and other people of color from the new suburbs and homeownership. An opposing group, the Committee to End Discrimination in Levittown, formed to fight the racism with protests and leaflets. The Supreme Court ruled in 1948 that house covenants with racial restrictions were “unenforceable” and unconstitutional, six years before the ruling on racial integration in Brown v. Board of Education.