The Color of Law

In the book The Color of Law, author Richard Rothstein presents the history of how government action in this country led to the creation of segregation that continues in many parts of our nation today. Americans have assumed for generations that segregation in this country was de facto segregation based on the consequences of private racial prejudice. What gets missed is the racially explicit federal, state and local government policies that dictated where whites and Blacks should and could live.

De facto segregation may be caused by racially prejudiced individuals, white flight, steering by real estate agents, redlining, Blacks with less education and less income, and Black families preferring to live with one another. While there is some truth with some of this, the major causes of the systemic residential segregation in this country were the racially explicit policies and enactments of our federal, state and local governments and courts. In our country today, we have de jure segregation: segregation that has resulted as the consequence of prior law and public policy.


  • "Segregated By Design" narrated by The Color of Law author Richard Rothstein about systemic racism woven into American history. Watch now >>
  • WRA 360 Ep. 4: "The Color of Wisconsin Property Law" with Brian Anderson Watch now >>

Read The Color of Law

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