Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership


Product Details

$30.00  $27.60
University of North Carolina Press
Publish Date
6.49 X 9.44 X 1.15 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes on Black politics, social movements, and racial inequality in the United States. Her book From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation won the 2016 Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book. Her articles have been published in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, Jacobin, New Politics, the Guardian, In These Times, Black Agenda Report, Ms., International Socialist Review, and other publications. Taylor is assistant professor in the department of African American Studies at Princeton University.


Taylor grounds her analysis in extensive archival research and in conversation with the historiography that it both extends and challenges.--Metropolitics

Details bungling mismanagement, gross corruption, distorted incentives, civil rights regulations that went unheeded and unenforced -- what Taylor calls a system of predatory inclusion that was distinct yet not entirely free from the racist system of exclusion that preceded it.--The New York Times

Like many historians, Taylor stays close to the history she documents and doesn't set out to address the present day in a sustained or direct way. She doesn't propose a solution to these perpetual abuses, and certainly not a neat, bipartisan policy move. In her telling, the problems are deep and abiding. They have to do with the degree to which the American Dream has become synonymous with the big yet also small accomplishment of owning a house.--The New Republic

Taylor's new and critical addition to the canon of housing-inequality scholarship illuminates how the private real estate industry, even in the era of supposed Fair Housing, failed Black people by preying on them for profit. It also reveals how mistaken American ideas about real estate--specifically, the idea of homeownership as a pillar of the American Dream--fueled the system that encouraged the pillaging of Black capital, while ultimately betraying the American public writ large.--Public Books

The book makes a strong case that giving so much power to profit-driven industries doomed the program's goals from the start, and there are clear parallels to the later subprime mortgage crisis of the 2000s. Race for Profit is an important addition to the literature on predatory lending and housing discrimination, as well as a valuable warning.--Foreword Reviews

Essential for readers wishing to understand the depth and differentials of U.S. racial discrimination, Taylor's masterly expose of the political economy of the racially bifurcated market systematically lays bare how residential segregation made profits from race; it also illustrates the mismatch of market solutions to racist policies and practices and underscores the limits of legislation alone to undo institutional racism.--Library Journal, starred review

A groundbreaking new book.--The New Yorker

Narrating the story of a sea-change in housing policy and its dire impact on African Americans, Race for Profit reveals how the urban core was transformed into a new frontier of cynical extraction.--Democratic Left

Among the myriad strengths of Race for Profit is Taylor's thoughtful and poignant analysis of the structures of meaning that undergird the racialized political economy of homeownership in this period.--H-Net Reviews

In this meticulously researched and well-written volume, Taylor . . . highlights an important chapter in African American history, focusing on how mortgage bankers and the FHA turned the promise of black home ownership into an urban nightmare, ultimately reinforcing historic urban-suburban racial segregation.--CHOICE

Taylor lays bare the naked racism, unethical practices, and rampant profiteering that saturated all aspects of the federal government and real estate industry's treatment of Black America.--Planning Perspectives

The product of a seasoned author, Taylor's book strikes a tough balance. It details the intricacies of HUD policy while holding readers close through very human depictions of the experiences and manipulations of those policies. . . . There's within its pages new ways to interrogate the story we tell about policy gone wrong.--Black Perspectives

Taylor's novel analysis, vivid storytelling, clear argumentation, and encyclopedic mastery of the historiography make [Race for Profit] a future classic.--The Metropole

In her thorough examination of a purposefully erased chapter of housing policy, Taylor achieves a compelling history for both specialists and the general-interest reader. The concept of predatory inclusion, perhaps Taylor's most important contribution, offers an important framework for critiques of housing under capitalism. . . . [and] suggests a more revolutionary rethinking of our contemporary relationship to housing.--Carolina Planning Journal

A rich economic and policy history, Race for Profit begins and ends its account of housing inequality with people. . . . In crisp and empathetic detail, Taylor . . . discusses the Black people who were cynically given predatory loans to purchase dilapidated houses and who eventually fought back.--The Nation