Wednesday, June 17, 2015

from 1926: racially restrictive covenant for the unit block of Randolph Pl NW

See this message from a resident on the unit block of Randolph Place NW:

I saw your article in today’s email about the mapping segregation presentation and thought you might be interested in the racially restrictive covenant from 1926 I found among the online records at DC recorder of deeds for the unit block of Randolph Place NW.  The PDF is attached.  If neighbors are interested in checking the history of their own address to see if they may find similar documents listed among their deeds they can do so at the Recorder of Deeds website: https://gov.propertyinfo.com/DC-Washington/
It says “the value in said squares is located largely upon maintaining their present character as high-class residential white neighborhoods” and claims that non-Caucasians moving in will “greatly damage the present owners and residents therein compelling them to remove elsewhere…”  Then the owners of the block signed to agree that they would not lease, sell, rent or give their property to “negroes or any person or persons of the negro blood or mixed negro blood” etc. 
I knew these documents existed, but it’s particularly shocking/depressing to see that one once applied to my own home, just 90 short years ago.  These types of covenants were ruled unconstitutional in the late 1940s.
Interestingly, while the unit block of Randolph Pl NW had a racially restrictive covenant, I understand that the adjacent block of 1st Street NW was originally marketed to “colored” families.
               

No comments:

Post a Comment