Exploring St. Louis: Blockbusting, redlining and segregation

It’s a rabbit-hole, yes. But one that’s well worth going down in as I immerse myself in the racial past and present of St. Louis. It’s fascinating. It’s depressing. It’s a must.

As the editor of a new Corporation for Public Broadcasting-funded “diversity” coverage initiative, I am based at St. Louis Public Radio and supervise a team of four reporters: One is here; the others are in Kansas City, Hartford and Portland, Ore. While the paperwork for the CPB grant says “diversity,” I feel like this whole initiative will be more about identity: About how Americans think of themselves and about “the other,” in their communities.

In this regard, the issue of where St. Louis people lived and live looms large. The scars of redlining, blockbusting and segregation seem to be everywhere–once you know where to look. Could Ferguson have happened as it did elsewhere? Yes, certainly. But it happened here–how and when it did–for reasons that have to do with both race and place.

So here’s what I’ve been reading, watching and listening to:

SPANISH LAKE – Race, Class and White Flight in Missouri

Clayton was once home to a thriving African-American neighborhood. Now, it’s little-known history.

Pruitt–Igoe (The Wendell O. Pruitt Homes and William Igoe Apartments)

Kinloch connection: Ferguson fueled by razing of historic black town

St. Louis: A city divided

We Live Here: Out of The Ville

We Live Here: White Flight and reclaimed memories

St. Louis Is Growing More Diverse—Just Not in the Black Half of Town

These Maps Of St. Louis Segregation Are Depressing

VICE Abandoned St. Louis Schools

What else should I read, listen to or watch? 

stlmap
Credit: Wompum via Reddit
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