The aim of this thesis is to highlight the wrongdoings that the American government and people have caused through poor housing practices and provide solutions to this expansive problem. This honors thesis investigates the discrimination that has taken place within the housing industry and implications it has had on African American wealth. The findings of this research uncover the lending procedures and zoning that kept black communities segregated and restricted integration. Discriminatory housing practices have obstructed African American’s from home ownership, which is the easiest way to build and pass on wealth. The biggest factors that have increased the wealth gap for African Americans is their inability to obtain home loans and access to neighborhoods in prosperous communities. These practices had a compounding impact on what opportunities African Americans would be afforded and determined the wealth that is passed to future generations. The inability to access home wealth only stigmatized African American culture which has contributed to systemic racism and bias. Additionally, the honors project determined that today’s communities still need extensive work to be sufficiently integrated and substantial investment is needed to bring these gentrified and segregated neighborhoods up to standard if the wealth gap is to be addressed. The solutions that this undergraduate research provided was a focus on mixed-income developments and inclusive zoning that blends demographics in a structure that does not favor only high income neighborhoods.
Semester/Year of Award
Mentor Department Affiliation
History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
Open Access Thesis
Barnes, Jenna M., "Living In a Divided America: The Housing Policies That Have Segregated Our Country and Oppressed African American Wealth" (2022). Honors Theses. 904.