Encyclopedia ofChicago
MAPS : MAPS CREATED BY ENCYCLOPEDIA STAFF
MAPS : MAPS CREATED BY ENCYCLOPEDIA STAFF
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Racial Restrictive Covenants on Chicago's South Side in 1947

 

 

 

Racial Restrictive Covenants on Chicago's South Side in 1947

From 1916 until 1948, racially restrictive covenants were used to keep Chicago's neighborhoods white. In language suggested by the Chicago Real Estate Board, legally binding covenants attached to parcels of land varying in size from city block to large subdivision prohibited African Americans from using, occupying, buying, leasing, or receiving property in those areas. This map stems from one used in a lawsuit (Tovey v. Levy, 1948) that was brought to enforce covenants. It shows that in 1947 covenants covered large parts of the city and, in combination with zones of nonresidential use, almost wholly surrounded the African American residential districts of the period, cutting off corridors of extension. Many of the neighborhoods encumbered with racially restrictive covenants were subsequently settled by African Americans once the covenants had been declared unconstitutional.