In Selma, we co-sponsored a forum on “Fair Housing Intersections” with an extraordinary organization called the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation, which is affiliated with the Black Belt Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation initiative. Our forum brought together activists and lawyers from across the state to explore the interconnections between housing, education, transportation, and environmental injustice. One of the highlights of the day was PRRAC board member Damon Hewitt’s interview with Selma natives Bruce and Betty Boynton. As a law student at Howard University, Bruce Boynton stopped on his way home for lunch in a whites only bus station restaurant in Richmond. Boynton became the arrestee and plaintiff in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), a case that helped inspire the Freedom Rides and eventually led to the desegregation of bus and train stations throughout the south. Special thanks to PRRAC consultant Leslie Proll and Ainka Jackson (director of the Center) for their help in pulling the forum together.
In memoriam – Arnold Hirsch: We were saddened to learn of the recent passing of Arnold Hirsch, one of the leading historians of America’s history of deliberate racial segregation. In honor of his legacy, we have re-released our 2004 Ford Foundation-funded collection of historical studies of government involvement in segregation in America, led by Hirsch’s study, “The Last and Most Difficult Barrier”: Segregation and Federal Housing Policy in the Eisenhower Administration, 1953-1960.
SAVE the new date: For logistical reasons, the national housing mobility conference has been rescheduled from June to October 16-17, in Washington DC. Details coming soon!