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How Black and white New Orleans was kept separate through covenants, steering and blockbusting

In Follow the Line Part 2, experts speak on how discriminatory practices found their way from the top of the federal government to the deed on your property.

Charisse Gibson (WWL)

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Published: 10:28 PM CDT May 11, 2023
Updated: 12:29 PM CDT May 12, 2023

When it comes to the racial makeup of a neighborhood in New Orleans, our origin story describes our city as a gumbo. We’re made up of different flavors and fused together to make a bowl of culture like no other. 

Over time, though, the ingredients, or rather the people in that gumbo, began to separate and it wasn't by coincidence. Nor is it a coincidence that the separation we saw then we still see today.

A 2020 study by the NOLA Data Center says 17 neighborhoods across New Orleans remain more than 80% Black. In neighborhoods like Lakeview, Algiers Point, Audubon, Uptown, and Garden District, they are about 60% white. That sharp divide was ushered in by practices and policies meant to separate and isolate, or de jure segregation.

Throughout our Follow the Line series, we will roll out how that isolation had damaging effects.

In episode 2 of Follow the Line, experts expound on how those discriminatory practices found their way from the very top of the federal government to possibly the land deed you hold on to your property.

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