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A World More ConcreteReal Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida$
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N. D. B. Connolly

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226115146

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226135250.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 16 January 2022

Knocking on the Door

Knocking on the Door

(p.133) Chapter Five Knocking on the Door
A World More Concrete

N. D. B. Connolly

University of Chicago Press

After successfully fighting back wartime rent controls, landlords continued to exert considerable influence over local politics in the postwar period, killing public housing programs for non-veterans, raising rents on white and black tenants, and contributing to the expansion of substandard housing across the region. Often, they also assailed the residential color line. “Knocking on the Door” is the first of two chapters addressing postwar debates over how and whether government should regulate and expropriate real estate. It focuses in particular on how landlords and real estate developers continued to protect their interests through government channels. It then explains how land expropriation, in the context of landlords’ influence, became an extension of earlier forms of white residential power. Special attention is paid to the case of Railroad Shops Colored Addition, a black community that suffers a series of dramatic displacements between 1947 and 1950. As in other cities, the residents of Greater Miami used “the Negro problem” to debate how and whether government should regulate and demolish black homes and black-occupied rental housing. Those debates eventually gave rise to a well-developed slum clearance movement that helped frame eminent domain as a progressive weapon against slumlords and an instrument for racial justice.

Keywords:   post-war suburbanization, landlord, rent control, tenant activism, displacement, civil rights, slum clearance, Railroad Shops Colored Addition, Coconut Grove

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