“No race or nationality other than the Caucasian race shall use or occupy any building or any lot.”
That’s the type of language Colin Gordon’s students found when they looked for decades-old land records in Black Hawk County, Iowa, that placed then-legal restrictions on who could buy or rent certain properties based on their race.
Gordon, a professor of history at the University of Iowa, coordinated the Mapping Segregation in Iowa project that shows these documents and the locations they spread locally. Such restrictions were filed in land records across the country until the Fair Housing Act outlawed it in 1968.
The earliest in Black Hawk County date to 1914. As this video shows, others followed — slowly at first, and then at a fast clip.
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