A World More ConcreteReal Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida

A World More ConcreteReal Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida

N. D. B. Connolly

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780226115146

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

A World More Concrete argues that Americans, immigrants, and even indigenous people, between the 1890s and the 1960s, made tremendous investments in racial apartheid, largely in an effort to govern growing cities and to unleash the value of land as real estate. Through a focus on South Florida, the book illustrates how entrepreneurs used land and debates over property rights to negotiate the workings of Jim Crow segregation. Over the course of several decades, property ownership became an important feature in the development of cities and suburbs, in the articulation of civil rights reform, and in the general inefficacy of civil rights activism on matters of residential segregation and black poverty. A World More Concrete contends, in fact, that as a result of the privileged legal and social position granted to property ownership in the United States, Jim Crow’s culture became America’s culture – politically, economically, and at the level of the built environment.