A 1937 Map Of Segregated Durham

A fascinating example of how racism was officially inscribed earlier in U.S. history — a map created by the city government of Durham in which all geography and locations are racialized. Imagine needing such a map for the purpose of decoding what locations could be accessed by whom. Via Sociological Images:

Trudi Abel, who directs the Digital Durham Project at Duke University, sent [this] in. Created by the Department of Public works in Durham, NC, in 1937, the map illustrates the legal and taken-for-granted racial segregation of the time. The map indicates which parks and residential areas were for Whites and which for African Americans.


10 Comments on "A 1937 Map Of Segregated Durham"

  1. Yep, people were pretty stupid and horrible back then. Still are, but it’s easier to notice in hindsight.

  2. People still self-segregate. Rich w/ rich, Gay w/ gay, White trash w/ white trash, etc. The whole American “Melting Pot” ideology is a myth. In any major city you may see this effect outlined on the ground even by the billboards- Newport cigarette ads encircle the Black neighborhoods.

    • Reptile Overlord | Apr 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

       clearly, we need a government program to rectify this situation and create egalitarian equality.

      I call for busing homos from San Francisco to Kansas, and busing trailer park residents into upscale communities.

      That’ll fix it.

    •  Surely you’re not suggesting black people requested the Newport billboards as a way of self-segregating their neighborhoods.

      •  No, but the tobacco companies are aware of the self-imposed social demarcation lines. It’s called marketing research.

  3. District 9 (District 6) for 1930’s.

  4. I’m glad I wasn’t alive to see it, on either side. I probably would’ve not lived long..

  5. Reptile Overlord | Apr 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

    hey, didja know that U.S. Government employment was not officially segregated by race until Woodrow Wilson?

    Ironic how a Democrat and the first Ph.D. President of America was such a blatant racist…

    • Jin The Ninja | Apr 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

      Woodrow was a racist, but so was every previous prez. the US is founded on a history of violent racism and racial oppression (as well as class and gender domination). It’s not news.

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