I’m reading a book right now titled Some of My Best Friends are Black by Tanner Colby. It’s a fascinating read about how real estate segregation came to be and it’s genesis was right here in Kansas City. Turns our J.C. Nichols of our Country Club Plaza area was the opportunistic architect of racial covenants that spread throughout the country like wildfire.
It’s a little controversial and/or embarrassing that Kansas City real estate gets called out like this. But really it’s even more egregious that the practices were so quickly adopted everywhere. Detroit. San Francisco. Dallas. Chicago. Etc. Heck, Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt so liked the results they had Nichols come in and consult and help to set up the FHA. Yes, that FHA.
Yes, the same J.C. Nichols whose name still shows up on the Reece & Nichols signs. The man who built huge tracts of houses south of the Plaza and in to Mission Hills, Prairie Village and Overland Park, Kansas… where I grew up in he ’60’s and ’70’s.
Did you know that our Realtor Code of Ethics once precluded people like me (white male) from selling homes to black people in neighborhoods whose value would be “hurt” by the inclusion of “such” people? At least according to this book.
I’m a conservative…which is probably obvious if you read this real estate investing blog often. But conservative doesn’t mean racist. In fact, if this book is 100% accurate, it leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth. The author is clearly a liberal. And while it bleeds through over and over I think he’s about as fair as he can be in some of the facts presented.
It’s clearly worth your time to read.
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