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Race for Profit

A book by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, ISBN 978-1469663883

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Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (Justice, Power, and Politics).

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, shaken by a wave of urban riots, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Believing that the turmoil could be quelled by turning black city dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 and put in place policies to make mortgage lenders and the real estate industry treat the same.way black shoppers...

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Race for Profit by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

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The disaster that followed revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transformed into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion.

Race for Profit reveals how real estate exploitation practices continued long after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after the end of redlining, and the close relationships between regulators and industry created incentives to ignore irregularities. Meanwhile, new policies designed to encourage low-income home ownership have created new methods for exploiting black homeowners.

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The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an effort to overcome resistance to lending to black buyers, as if unprofitable rather than racism were the cause of housing segregation. Bankers, investors and real estate agents have taken advantage of perverse incentives, targeting black women who are most likely unable to keep up with their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits. As a result, in the late 1970s, the first national programs to encourage black home ownership resulted in tens of thousands of foreclosures in black communities across the country. The push to increase black home ownership had become a goldmine for real estate agents and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made club for champions of deregulation to wield against any kind of government intervention.

Telling the story of a radical change in housing policy and its disastrous impact on African Americans, Race for Profit reveals how the urban core has been transformed into a new frontier of cynical extraction.

Race for Profit Book author

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. Taylor's writings and scholarships address issues of contemporary black politics, the history of black social movements and black radicalism, as well as issues of public policy, race and racial inequality. Taylor's writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Boston Review, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Al Jazeera America, Jacobin, In These Times, New Politics, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, and beyond. Taylor is also the author of the award-winning From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation published by Haymarket Books in 2016. She is also the author of How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective which won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction . Taylor's next book with the University of North Carolina Press, titled Race For Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Mined Black Homeownership, will be released in October 2019.

Taylor received her Ph.D. in African American Studies from Northwestern University in 2013.

Race for Profit book reviews


Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor wrote an incredibly informative book on housing and real estate in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Her story begins with HUD law under the LBJ, and then shows how these programs designed for increasing black ownership has only increased the ability of predatory real estate market players to profit from black neighborhoods. Crucial in this regard was the lack of federal action to effectively desegregate the white suburbs, even though they had tools under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Anyone who has read Taylor's other work knows that his work is consistently of superb quality. I highly recommend his first book, From Black Liberation to #BlackLivesMatter! He truly is one of the greatest thinkers we have right now.


If you want to understand how our cities became so segregated, and how African American property (and therefore wealth) has been so badly undermined, read this critical story. Although the federal government formally abandoned discriminatory practices in the 1970s, racist exclusion gave way to β€œpredatory inclusion,” as Taylor puts it. Public (government) and private (real estate) collaboration has effectively put the real estate sector, historically steeped in racial discriminatory practices, in the driver's seat. The government has entrusted the responsibility of providing quality housing to the discriminatory and for-profit real estate sector.

This book is incredibly well researched and powerfully written, and through telling this story, the author demystifies the current state of housing segregation and injustice. An important tool for home activists and academics.

Matt L. Pimentel, Ph.D.

Dr. Taylor's book involves the national conversation about how the federal government has not allowed the poor and primarily blacks to own their own homes. This situation is complex and, in essence, painful to read, especially at the time (the Johnson and Nixon administrations) when racism was still evident and federalism could not, once again, level the playing field for everything. the world.

In short, the federal program known as FHA, or Federal Housing Authority, attempts to broaden participation in the "black home buying experience." The FHA does not per se make, contract or guarantee loans as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now do (please Google and / or read many articles and books to explain this process).

Like everything in the early days of the civil rights movement, people of color, and especially blacks, were screwed around every corner; from highlighting to blockbuster to fraud at every level of the home buying process. It is a very complex book to explain unless you are familiar with the real estate industry and the public policies of the 1960s and 1970s. I have read some reviews of this book. While these critics get the gist of the situation, there is a lot they overlook about the β€œwhy” or motivation against this effort. The two motivators behind the failure of the FHA (then HUD) allowed greed and corruption to take root throughout the program and the inherent and systematic racism that separated blacks and whites. It is that simple.

Liberal Republican George Romney (father of Mitt, former governor of Michigan and former CEO of American Motors) attempted to lead the possible failed attempt as secretary of the HUD. However, soon after, Nixon hated the idea of ​​equality between blacks and whites and was certainly thrilled when Romney stepped down after the start of Nixon's second term. Romney was not an inside player in the Nixon White House. Dr Taylor credits Mr Romney with having had the decency to attempt to make housing accessible and equitable, but there were too many institutionalized forces hampering this noble effort.

To that end, Dr. Taylor's book is a bit dry, long, and could seriously get to the point with less tangential chatter. In addition, the author used a strange method of reference which is confusing and difficult to discern where he actually gets his "facts" from.

As a descriptor, this is actually not a well-written book, although it does cover a topic that has just been discussed in the literature. Interestingly, it won an honorable mention at the 2019 National Book Award, which I find disconcerting, but I think dealing with the subject alone may be worth it.

Race for Profit reviews
Lucia Dawkins Los Angeles

Race for Profit ebook is a good option. I wouldn`t recommend to buy a hardcover, but for me the digital version worked well. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a top-level prefessional!
Race for Profit reviews
Lawrence H. Alex W. Houston

1) Must read. 2) Must read. 3) Must read. P.S. Many thanks Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor for this book - Race for Profit is simply the best!!!
Race for Profit reviews
yourlawyer2020 TX

WOW. "Race for Profit"" is a really good one on this topic. Honestly, haven`t read any other books from Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, but he seems to be real genius!
Race for Profit reviews
Tom Lazcovitz Putz London

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor thank you so much for this book! Race for Profit is incredibly insighful!
Race for Profit reviews
Amelie_1998 Robinson California

As of 2024-07-20, I suppose that Race for Profit by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is still among the best books in its niche. Brilliant!
Race for Profit reviews
Christine NY

From the professional point of view there`s nothing new in Race for Profit. But at the end of the day, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor made it extremely engaging and motivating!
Race for Profit reviews
Radj Gupta Wilmington

Got a kindle version of Race for Profit. Well-readable and even thrilling - to the extent a business book can be so. Kudos to Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor!