In a conversation with KARE 11 Reporter Adrienne Broaddus, Kirsten Delegard, Augsburg University scholar-in-residence and director of the Mapping Prejudice project, discussed the lasting impact of historically discriminatory housing policies in Minneapolis.
“People think that because we didn’t have segregated water fountains or waiting rooms that we didn’t have segregation in Minneapolis,” she said, “but racial covenants determined who could live where … We are still living with the legacy of these policies. We can point to all kinds of disparities especially in area of home ownership that we are living with today because of these polices enforced over the last century.”
The Mapping Prejudice project, once complete, will be the first comprehensive map of racial covenants for a U.S. city. Watch the KARE 11 report about the project.
Under the Mapping Prejudice Project, scholars from the University of Minnesota and Augsburg University have analyzed over 1.4 million historic Minneapolis housing deeds, finding racist language in more 20,000 documents. These racial covenants forbidding the sale of property to people of color are no longer legally enforceable, but researchers hope documenting this side of the city’s history will influence urban planning in years to come.
This article describes the methods that the Mapping Prejudice researchers use to conduct their work and discusses the motivations for the project with project director and Augsburg scholar-in-residence Kirsten Delegard.
The research group plans to map Minneapolis by the end of 2017 and all of Hennepin County next year.
Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow talks with the Star Tribune’s Randy Furst about how the Augsburg House — and much of South Minneapolis — were once governed by discriminatory housing policies. While the historical covenants are no longer legally binding, Augsburg is seeking a method to nullify the prohibition while still preserving the historical record, “so that we never lose sight of the actions that have segregated and repressed many,” Pribbenow said.
The findings about residential properties in South Minneapolis are part of the Mapping Prejudice project, led by a team of researchers from Augsburg and the University of Minnesota. For more information about the project, see Mapping Prejudice. Go to the Star Tribune article for information about other South Minneapolis homes, a perspective from a Minneapolis real estate lawyer, and an interactive map showing the growth of racially restrictive deeds across Minneapolis from 1910 to 1955.