So, the thing that's taken up a significant amount of my time recently is the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion's Mock Trial, putting the FHA on the stand for racial discrimination in Detroit. And now that today's the day, I'll be liveblogging it below the fold, and you can watch/chat along here, as well.


You can live chat here throughout the day:

8:52 AM: And we're off!

8:56 AM: Some background reading, if you're interested: Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle and The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Thomas Sugrue.

9:03 AM: The trial begins: a bio of Judge Victoria Roberts.

9:11 AM: Our attorneys: for the plaintiff, Khalilah Spencer; for the defendant, Abraham Singer.

9:13 AM: The black migration to Detroit began before the Great Depression, with the advent of car manufacturing. It only intensified during the Great Depression and in the post-war boom, causing significant racial tension in the predominantly white, affluent middle-class of Detroit.

9:16 AM: One of the critical backdrops to this argument is that by 1950, Detroit had the highest median income and the highest rate of homeownership of any city in the nation.

9:23 AM: The fundamental issue of this case is really what the purpose of the FHA's procedures were, and what impact they had on housing in Detroit and in racially mixed areas everywhere. Did the FHA promote and reinforce segregation, or was it merely describing the realities of the day and administering government resources responsibly?

9:32 AM: Some background on racially restrictive covenants.

10:06 AM: A history of the Federal Housing Administration.

10:09 AM: Debra Dickerson wrote a piece for Salon in 1999 about the prevalence of racially restrictive covenants across our nation.

10:16 AM: Detroit's mini-Berlin wall in the 8 Mile-Wyoming area.