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Race for Profits and the Resistance of African-American Women

Author 89170
Message Dr. Lenore Daniels

Slavery was banned from history, but while black people certainly felt the falling of their chains, they also soon realized that they had by no means achieved their collective goal of liberation.

Angela Davis, "Underexposed: Photography and Afro-American History," in Century of Black Photographers: 1840-1860.

[T]he underlying cause of urban slums is that the residents are too poor to pay for adequately maintained housing. Also many of the residents display destructive behavior patterns that raise maintenance costs... The real problem is that our housing standards keep rising and these people don't have the capacity to keep up with the standards.

Anthony Davis, responding to HUD's homeownership problems in the Chicago Tribune


You imagine the proverbial light bulb going on. Then imagine the voice within: Money. And then again: Money!

The narrator has a house or not. Doesn't matter; he sees a house, multiple houses. The narrator has a job or not. Doesn't matter, for there are fewer lines drawn in red around certain neighborhoods. And he's in!

In an instant, the narrator is a real estate broker, or an appraiser, or a banker. In an instant, he's showing houses and speaking confidently about how easy it is for you to own your own home. In the evening, he spends his evenings counting his gold coins near his fireplace, much like George Eliot's Silas Marner.

The narrator doesn't know anything about Janice Johnson or Johnnie D. Brown or any of the single mothers his business depends on. But what does it matter?

Lies abound and omissions work miracles at the end of the day when meddling inquiries necessitate an explanation. And if default on the mortgage comes around, followed by a foreclosure, no problem. It's all good for growth--the growth of the business. The success of the company, bank, agency.

The success of narrator assures the success of the narrative surrounding the housing crisis in United States during the 1970s.

This land is your land, this land is my land...

Our fellow citizen, the narrator, the individual, becomes an army of thousands, expanding the workforce at the Department of House and Urban Development (HUD), the banking industry, the real-estate agencies, and the financial-mortgage companies. He accumulates wealth by whatever means necessary, no matter who harmed, who suffers. The narrative's mantra is, Profits First!

It's capitalism's bottom line.

And you? You haven't anything in the end.

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Activist, writer, American Modern Literature, Cultural Theory, PhD.

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Race for Profits is an important study of a segment of US history that still resonates today as we deal with the high cost of shelter--a basic human need.

Submitted on Friday, Jan 3, 2020 at 3:55:41 AM

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