The Carillon: A neighborhood ahead of its time and a model of integration in the 1960s

The Carillon: A neighborhood ahead of its time and a model of integration in the 1960s

At the height of integration efforts around the country when the Fair Housing Act was passed, one West of the Boulevard neighborhood was ahead of its time, forging bonds between neighbors of all colors and refusing to let the times and outside voices dictate how they lived their lives.

Photo: Mallory Noe-Payne/Radio IQ

At the height of integration efforts around the country when the Fair Housing Act was passed, one West of the Boulevard neighborhood was ahead of its time, forging bonds between neighbors of all colors and refusing to let the times and outside voices dictate how they lived their lives.

From Radio IQ:

This year marks 50 years since Congress passed the Fair Housing Act. The law made it possible for people of color to buy homes in any neighborhood they wanted. Before the law, neighborhoods often had covenants restricting sales to white families.

As neighborhoods opened up, segregation by choice remained throughout Virginia. But in one Richmond neighborhood, two women resisted.

Agents could sell a black family a home in a white neighborhood and start a domino effect. White families would sell quickly, and agents could buy the vacated houses cheaply before selling them at inflated prices to black families. Finally, the agents would help the white families find a new home in the suburbs.

“It is the trifecta. They make a lot of money,” explains local historian Beth O’Leary.

For some real estate agents, the passing of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 was good business.

Agents could sell a black family a home in a white neighborhood and start a domino effect. White families would sell quickly, and agents could buy the vacated houses cheaply before selling them at inflated prices to black families. Finally, the agents would help the white families find a new home in the suburbs.

That’s what was happening in Richmond’s Carillon neighborhood in the 1960’s. Real estate agents had targeted the area.  Within 18 months, a third of the community there was African American.

Read the full story here.

 

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.