Segregation: Understanding the Lasting Effects of the Explicit Governmental Policies that Created Segregation

Kathryn Kinser, History, East Mecklenburg High School

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


In this curriculum unit, Civics and Economics students will explore how 20th century federal housing policies systematically segregated nearly every major city across the United States, and how federal courts helped maintain such policies. The unit begins broadly, building necessary historical context and addressing the traditional myth that racial segregation is a result of the primarily private practices of de facto segregation. After students build a knowledge base, investigate key concepts like redlining, and are exposed briefly to how redlining and other racist housing policies contribute to the wealth inequality that exists today, they will begin to look at the connection between these federal policies and segregation of public schools in the country. Being that students live in Charlotte, they will then explore the local implications of segregation by looking at their neighborhood and our school system demographics. The hope is that students begin to understand why certain settling patterns among groups of people exist, and how the effects of racist and discriminatory housing policies have lasted for decades after their inception.