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.


  • http://www.facebook.com/dreamsofkadath Frank Loonee

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

  • saint_al

    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

       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.

      • DeepCough

        Let’s do it: it’ll make for the best reality TV since Jersey Shore!

    • Just us

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

      • saint_al

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

  • Raz

    District 9 (District 6) for 1930’s.

  • Jbar

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

  • Reptile Overlord

    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

      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.