Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Bailey


Bank, mortgage and insurance redlining, as an extension of institutional racism, has been detrimental to the development of African American communities. Racism has always existed as a negative force in the lives of African Americans and has historically been observed with relative ease. Today, racism continues to hamper the social, political and economic advancement of African Americans but it has become highly sophisticated and less visible, making it much more difficult to detect by its victims. This difficulty in detection has caused confusion in the problem-solving efforts of those concerned with the decline of African American neighborhoods. This study discusses the impact of redlining in six Atlanta communities, first by analyzing the ideology responsible for the practice of racism; second, by discussing how racism has become institutionalized; and last, by examining redlining’s role in community housing markets and household finance. The research pinpoints particular indicators of neighborhood decline, such as homeownership, vacancy, abandonment and property value. Then the relationship between the redlining and decline, reflected in the behavior of the indicators, is exposed. The study found that redlining, in spite of legislation to stop it, continues to stunt the growth of African American communities. Specifically, its practice results in fewer new homes, more residents forced to rent, more vacancies and lower relative property value. These factors combine to generate a process of decline in African American neighborhoods over time.

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