Robert Weaver on Racial Restrictive Covenants
On the Role of Subdivisions in Perpetuating Covenants
"The authors of the most effective racial covenants are the subdividers
who on their own initiative or under pressure from sources of finance cover new
developments with these restrictive agreements. This is true for many reasons.
Subdividers are the first commercial developers of urban land. As such, they
transform raw land into building sites, laying out streets, planning land use,
and often specifying, through deed restrictions, the use to which sites shall
be put....Since, however, all this takes place before
the occupant or ultimate owner moves into an area, patterns for residential
segregation, effected by deed restrictions, occur without the active participation
of the eventual parties to the agreement. Thus, subdividers and developers
establish minority exclusion and patterns for its perpetuation without having
to go to the expense of persuading purchasers to participate in the
arrangement. And since new subdivisions are often occupied by the more
prosperous elements in the population, patterns established in them become
attractive to others who hope to become prosperous. When and if the latter group succeed in achieving this manifestation of arriving in
our society, they, too, have little choice; if they want the sort of house that
signifies prosperity, it is usually covered by a racial covenant."
Source: Robert C. Weaver, The
Negro Ghetto. New York:
Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1948. 253-254.
This WWW page was created by Wendy
Plotkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) in 1998 and updated on 1 September 2003.