Even with the clearest of minds, personal and historical memory ebb and flow. Recollections of our own past and that of the society around us often become shaped by current circumstance and selective recall. 2,331 more words
If you have purchased an older house in California, you often get a nasty surprise and learn that the title to your house includes a racial covenant barring minorities from buying the home. We sometimes forget that racial covenants and housing segregation were a fairly recent phenomenon. Ryan Reft at the Tropics of Meta has posted an article about housing segregation in southern California. Reft's piece focuses on two time Olympic diving champion Sammy Lee. Despite Lee's international status he still faced difficulties in buying a home in southern California because he was Korean American. Reft describes how the Cold War helped force neighborhoods in southern California to integrate in order to avoid becoming propaganda material for the Soviets. He also explains that while white residents were ultimately willing to permit Asian Americans into their neighborhoods, they still fought tooth and nail to keep African Americans out.