Historical Redlining in Seattle

The threads where it was mentioned have been locked by now, but I thought that @Mindysan33, @chgoliz, @bwv812 (and anyone else) might find this article interesting.

From today’s Capitol Hill Seattle blog. (I miss living on Capitol Hill :frowning:)


That’s as far removed from any waterfront as it’s possible to be in Seattle.


And it’s still “The Ghetto”.

I remember an opinion piece by Charles Mudede in The Stranger (a few years ago, can’t find it now) about how lots of people here pat themselves on the back about being progressive, but never go to that area, and stay in the whiter areas in the north of the city. I might try to dig it out later today.

Edit: had the wrong author.

This article.


These kind of covenants were declared unenforceable in 1948 (Shelley v. Kraemer) but weren’t illegal until 1968 and the Fair Housing Act. Documents created before 1968 may still carry these now-illegal (and unenforceable) covenants.

In case 1968 seems a long time ago, here’s an interesting illustration of how segregation persists even after the laws enforcing segregation have been eliminated:


the documentary Crips and Bloods (is/used to be on Netflix) details how this type of thing worked in LA. I had always assumed that the ghetto was enforced through social mores i.e. sellers would refuse to sell to minorities because of their personal racism, but was surprised to learn (though I guess it’s not all that surprising, given US history and laws) that there were actual zoning laws on the books, in plain black and white, “white only in these areas, blacks and mexicans here and here, etc.” Fast forward and today, the whole world knows Crenshaw Blvd was the main drag in that zone because of rap music.

also, @daneel, I thought you were in the UK? am I confusing you with someone else or are you a globetrotter? (not any of my business, of course, just idle curiosity)

Bit of a globetrotter. From UK, but I’ve been in Seattle for getting on 10 years, with a brief stopover in Savannah.

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UK–>Savannah–>Seattle… the culture shock would’ve given me whiplash!

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It was UK > Seattle > UK > Savannah > Seattle

I’ve had it with moving across the Atlantic.

I’m glad you’ve put down a root or two in my favorite timezone!

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