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Discovering And Excavating Racist Housing Covenants

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In the decades after Emancipation, many African Americans left the rural South amid the Great Migration. In the meantime, many white home owners across the United States were encouraged to add language to their deeds, making it illegal for Black people to ever live in their houses. A Supreme Court ruling nullified those racial restrictive covenants, but they’re still in the deeds. Now citizen historians are working to find each one in Durham.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.