Racially Housing Organizations: A Theoretical Connection between Hoas, Race, and Space

James Baldwin, Texas A

In 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois discussed the black stranger in Baker County, Georgia, "liable to be stopped anywhere on the public highway and made to state his business to the satisfaction of any white interrogant. If he fail[ed] to give a suitable answer, or seem[ed] to be independent or sassy he may be arrested or summarily driven away." Almost 120 years later, despite the passage of Civil Rights legislation and other forms of "racial progress," my Fraternity brothers and I were interrogated and made to state our business to the satisfaction of “white interrogant.” My story ended with being summarily driven away from the place. But, others end differently (e.g. Trayvon Martin or Ahmaud Arbery). My presentation centers how the methods of segregation and racial stratification change over time, while maintaining the underlying social relations. In addition, I take a deeper dive into the connection between residential segregation, the inequitable dissemination of resources, and the link between residential segregation and racial inequality. As such, building off Victor Ray's racialized organizations, I propose "Racialized Housing Organizations (RHOs)" as a framework/concept for examining contemporary segregation and its effects. Operationally, these organizations exist as homeowner associations, community residential associations, master-planned communities, and de-annexed territories, among other things. RHOs are the theoretical bridge between micro- and macro-level theories of segregation; they capture the nature by which micro-level attainment result in differential outcomes by race and how macro-level systems regulate individual-level behavior. In addition to the conceptual and theoretical contribution, I highlight the impact of these racialized organizations on residential organization, their relationship to neoliberalism, and the impact the relationship has on public space and the dissemination of resources along racial lines. In sum, I put forth a theory that explains persisting racial inequality and segregation through the systemic reconfiguration of the United States system.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 154. Performance, Resistance, and Segregation: Race, Space, and Place