Newberry Library Racist Covenants.Britannica

Chicago’s Newberry Library, a private research institution in the wealthy Gold Coast neighborhood just north of the Loop, has revealed its role in supporting housing segregation and restrictive covenants in real estate to keep African-Americans out of the neighborhood. (South of downtown, the University of Chicago, founded by John D. Rockefeller, did the same thing in its Hyde Park neighborhood.) The Newberry owned a lot of rental property in the Gold Coast and routinely refused to rent to non-Whites until the U.S. Supreme Court voided such covenants in 1948. That case was brought by Carl Hansberry, whose daughter Lorraine grew up to write one of the most famous plays in Chicago history, “A Raisin in the Sun.” It’s about a struggling Black family hoping to escape the ghetto where they were forced to live by rich White real estate interests. (

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