Segregation | St. Louis Public Radio

Segregation

City officials in Maplewood, Missouri forced Rosetta Watson from her home using a public nuisance ordinance. Watson is suing the city in federal court and her story is featured in the latest episode of We Live Here.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

We Live Here, the national-award winning podcast about race and class from St. Louis Public Radio and PRX, debuted its fourth season Thursday.  

The show, born out of the emotional turmoil and cultural upheaval of the Ferguson uprising, will break new ground this year.

Hosts Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley will spend the entire season exploring the intersection of race, class and housing in St. Louis, one of the nation's most segregated regions.

Angela Lewis, left, listens while realtor Gail Brown explains how she arrived at a list price for the Lewis property in north St. Louis, in April 2018.
Holly Edgell / St. Louis Public Radio

Advocates concerned about persistent housing segregation in the region might question why promotional materials for the 2018 Fair Housing Conference use the word "celebrate" in reference to the Fair Housing Act.

"The reality is the racial segregation that we see everywhere in this country is the product of very explicit design by the federal state and local governments, intended to segregate the nation by race," said Richard Rothstein, ahead of Wednesday's meeting.

Rothstein, the keynote speaker, is the author of "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America."

Every day is an exercise in tight decisions for Corey Robinson. “If you only make $8.50, you gotta use your money wisely,” he said. “Do you feel like eating today, or do you feel like getting on the bus?”
Kae M. Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On his first job out of college as a corrections officer for St. Louis County in 1984, Perez Maxwell noticed that no black men had social work roles. When he sought a promotion to social worker two years later — a position he said he had the education and training to win — he hit a wall.

That was just the first of several jobs where Maxwell observed that he and his black colleagues lost out on leadership roles that went to white counterparts with similar education.  

He can’t help but think that helps explain why many black people in St. Louis continue to be paid much less than white people. Black households made 49 percent of what white households made in St. Louis, based on median incomes in the most recently available census data, which detailed how the nation changed in 2016.

Harvard professor Daniel D'Oca's students used an innovative approach to understand fair housing in Ferguson and the St. Louis metropolitan area.  (Jan. 18, 2017)
Daniel D'Oca

Daniel D’Oca, a professor in the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, recently turned his Fall 2016 Urban Planning and Design Studio into a case study in making accessible solutions for fair housing and urban segregation — in St. Louis.

He and a group of students studied the history of housing policy in the metropolitan area and how segregation contributed to the protests in Ferguson.

Pruitt-Igoe, with the Vaughn Housing Complex at right
U.S. Geological Survey

A researcher with the Economic Policy Institute says the federal government needs to recognize that it played a deliberate role in creating racially segregated neighborhoods in cities like St. Louis.

At a Missouri History Museum Symposium Saturday, the think tank’s Richard Rothstein drew a direct line between today’s segregated schools and neighborhoods and two federal housing programs from the 1930s, 40s and 50s: public housing and subsidized construction.

Graphic of woman on crutches overlooking treacherous landscpe
Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

There are a few things we know about health care that are true for everyone. For one thing, it's expensive. It's a nearly $3 trillion industry in the U.S. Also, it's not easy to do well.

Clockwise from top left, Sister Rose Ann Ficker, Marie Kelly, Chris Kehr and Benjamin T. Allen Sr.
St. Louis Public Radio staff

St. Louis County has 90 municipalities.

It’s a fact we’ve heard casually thrown into news stories over the past few months, with little explanation as to how St. Louis County came to be a hodge-podge of towns. In this episode of We Live Here, we talk to Esley Hamilton, a preservationist for St. Louis County Parks, who explains why there are so many municipalities in the region.

Within this system of municipalities, people are largely divided — white, black, rich and poor. They rarely live next to each other.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis region received poor marks in a new report Wednesday that compares its levels of racial disparity and segregation to 34 similar metropolitan areas.

The report is an update to the East-West Gateway Council of Government's Where We Stand, which compiles data in order to measure the region on a yardstick with its peers across the country.

Nanette Hegamin

Scholars involved in a five-part study that examines the well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis region will seek public feedback on their research during a forum on March 3 at the Forest Park Visitor Center. The session, from 2 to 5 p.m., is free, but participants must sign up through the event registration page.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 13, 2008 - Can we please stop acting surprised that race matters? It's been a focal point in the media's recent discussion of the election - mostly that some people consciously or unconsciously will not vote for Obama because of his race. Don't get me wrong. I agree that race is a relevant construct in our present day. However, the media's sense of shock that their own pumping of negative stereotypes of Black men in particular, and African Americans in general, just might have an impact on the way some perceive Barack Obama is exasperating.